The partnership between RMIT School of Engineering and Engineers Without Borders Australia (EWB) provides opportunities for engineering students to learn about global perspectives in engineering through real projects and to participate directly in community-based programs and initiatives focused on sustainable development and poverty alleviation. These opportunities are embedded within the curriculum or are available to students through involvement in the EWB Chapter.
Connection with real world projects increases the global relevance of university curriculum and allows students to gain insights into how their engineering and technical skills can be applied to a humanitarian context and contribute to the sustainable development goals. This in turn develops a deeper understanding of the role of engineers as facilitators, change agents, creative problem-solvers, integrators and managers.
As an example of this partnership, all first-year engineering students participate in the EWB Challenge. Inclusion of the EWB Challenge presents students with the opportunity to design and develop creative solutions that contribute to addressing real communities aspirations.
Project timeline: 2009 - ongoing
Key contributors: Nick Brown
This project addresses the following Sustainable Development Goals and Targets:
4.3 By 2030, ensure equal access for all women and men to affordable and quality technical, vocational and tertiary education, including university
4.4 By 2030, substantially increase the number of youth and adults who have relevant skills, including technical and vocational skills, for employment, decent jobs and entrepreneurship
4.7 By 2030, ensure that all learners acquire the knowledge and skills needed to promote sustainable development, including, among others, through education for sustainable development and sustainable lifestyles, human rights, gender equality, promotion of a culture of peace and non-violence, global citizenship and appreciation of cultural diversity and of culture’s contribution to sustainable development
9.5 Enhance scientific research, upgrade the technological capabilities of industrial sectors in all countries, in particular developing countries, including, by 2030, encouraging innovation and substantially increasing the number of research and development workers per 1 million people and public and private research and development spending
9.a Facilitate sustainable and resilient infrastructure development in developing countries through enhanced financial, technological and technical support to African countries, least developed countries, landlocked developing countries and small island developing States
17.6 Enhance North-South, South-South and triangular regional and international cooperation on and access to science, technology and innovation and enhance knowledgesharing on mutually agreed terms, including through improved coordination among existing mechanisms, in particular at the United Nations level, and through a global technology facilitation mechanism
17.16 Enhance the Global Partnership for Sustainable Development, complemented by multi-stakeholder partnerships that mobilize and share knowledge, expertise, technology and financial resources, to support the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals in all countries, in particular developing countries.
17.17 Encourage and promote effective public, publicprivate and civil society partnerships, building on the experience and resourcing strategies of partnerships