The International Council of Academic Departments in Engineering and Management (ICADEM)
Engineering and Management has been a successful concept for many years. It is one of the most sought-after study programs in Germany and is based on an integrative combination of business and technology. Students are trained to become generalists who can be flexibly deployed in an interdisciplinary manner and take on an integrating role within interface positions in companies. Selling complex systems, managing demanding projects and analysing technical issues from an economic point of view - these are typical tasks of Engineering and Management professionals in today's world.
This success story is based, amongst other things, on an active network. There has been a group of professors from institutions of higher education in Germany and other German-speaking countries since the end of the 1980s who, as the "Engineering and Management Interest Group", are in regular professional exchange and work together to continue to promote Engineering and Management. After many years of working together this collegial association was institutionalised and an association was founded in 2012. The resulting International Council of Academic Departments in Engineering and Management (ICADEM, in German FFBT WI) represents the interests of academic institutions with study programs in Engineering and Management in relation to politics, companies and society. Currently, 60 institutions of higher education from Germany, Austria and Switzerland have joined the association. The common aim is to develop the Engineering and Management study concept on the basis of current social changes, to define quality standards and to raise awareness at home and abroad.
An important milestone is the joint publication of the third revised edition of the Qualifications Framework for Engineering and Management, which was published in June 2019 in cooperation with the Association of German Engineering and Management Professionals (known as VWI in German). The Qualifications Framework is a guideline and quality assurance instrument with systematic formulation of learning outcomes and cornerstones for the design of modules and degree programs. As an established standard work, it supports institutions of higher education in designing and adapting their curricula and defines the framework conditions for accreditation and quality assurance. Currently, ICADEM is working on an English-language version that is intended to strengthen the professional cooperation with institutions of higher education from Europe and is also designed to be internationally compatible. In addition, the assimilation of Engineering and Management to the challenges of digitization has become a focus of the association's activities - learning content and teaching methods are adapted to the latest developments in this sector thus making them viable for the future.
In addition, ICADEM is working on the conception of its own seal of quality to be awarded to study programs that meet the requirements of the Qualifications Framework in their curricula and thus differentiate themselves from other study programs for applicants. ASIIN is an important partner in this project, providing advice and support both with professional expertise and by activating its own network.
From the perspective of ICADEM, quality assurance in higher education is of great importance. The ongoing measures to protect quality standards make the programs at German institutions of higher education compatible not only with international competition. At the same time, they guarantee that the programs are constantly being developed and students with future-oriented and relevant skills are trained so that they are able to contribute to strengthening the economy and society.
When accrediting and certifying programs and systems in higher education, we attach particular importance to the professional component. As important as structures and procedures are for the success of a study program, we as a lobby group from the field of university teaching consider our key focus to be on the actual content of a study program - specialist knowledge. Certification and accreditation are important elements for us in order to ensure transparency and comparability in an internationally diverse market of study programs and teaching content. They provide orientation and guarantee quality.
For this reason, we have decided to become an ASIIN member. We benefit from the expertise and support of the ASIIN network in the creation of our professional quality assurance instruments, and likewise make our own contribution to quality assurance in future accreditation procedures. A strong partnership with invaluable impulses for our overriding aim: the strengthening of Engineering and Management.