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The President of the Republic 35th International IGIP Symposium 18 September 2006 in TUT

Honourable engineers and faculty members,
Participants in the symposium,

It is my pleasure to welcome the presidents and members of several international engineering educational societies in Tallinn. Your activities in educating technology teachers and maintaining the high image of engineering as well as your future-driven steps deserve full acknowledgement.

Contemporary engineering education is one of the key elements for a better living environment. In the ever globalising world development is relying on the results of science and technology and the speed how fast these results are implemented in real life. The latter depends greatly on the availability of engineering education.

Recent economic growth has been very fast in Estonia. The number of university graduates has also grown pretty fast, but, unfortunately, the share of engineers among them has been rather low. Considering our development speed and needs, we hope that soon the number of state-financed places for students in the field of engineering and technology teaching will be increased.

Thus, on the one hand, engineering education is an integral part of both economic innovation and innovative attitude in general. At the same time, it is part of the foundation sustainable development is based on. During the recent years we have started to acknowledge this more intensely in Estonia. At the same time, during the period of great social changes, perhaps we have put too little value to the other facet – technological heritage as part of culture.

It takes also time to implement in full the understanding that the ever upgrading technology requires permanent studies and further training. In both fields it is more beneficial to combine separate attempts and fuse them at the international level.

Tallinn University of Technology has gathered remarkable experience and reputation in this field. This is also seen in being the host to this symposium. No doubt that it is a great challenge and honour for the Estonian Centre for Engineering Pedagogy functioning under the university to host such an important international event with 37 participating countries.

Honourable participants,
I acknowledge the basis of your activities – the idea that engineering education is a priority for global development. I wish you success in implementing your ideas and winning support for them. I wish you successful discussions!

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