ANSI - American National Standards Institute
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Surveys on Academic Standards Education and Training Reveal Void

New York, Mar 17, 2004

The Center for Global Standards Analysis at the Catholic University of America recently published the results of its survey on standards education at schools of engineering. Launched in the fall of 2003, the survey was conducted among the U.S. News and World Report 2003 index of top rated universities in the nation and aimed to determine whether engineering schools offered courses and/or lectures on standards, or whether the subject of standards was integrated into one or more existing curriculums.

Of the more than 100 universities contacted in the Center for Global Standards Analysis study, only three engineering schools in the U.S. offer a course on standards: the Catholic University of America, the University of Colorado (Boulder), and the University of Maryland. The findings illustrated that standards education is not a priority issue among schools of engineering in the United States, and these institutions “do not yet accept the critical nature of standards in the new 21st century global economy.”

Meanwhile, a survey published in October 2003 by Akela Business Marketing in France, studied education and training for standardization in Europe (Spain, Italy, France, Germany, England, the Netherlands, Greece, Belgium, Sweden, Austria, Norway, Malta, Czech Rep, Denmark, Finland, Luxemburg, Switzerland). This study set out to identify the existence of programs supporting standards-related education in academic circles as well as in business.

The findings of both surveys revealed a lack of support related to standardization training and education and a general feeling of lack of understanding about the subject itself. Summary reports indicated that training and education was most often seen as a professional activity conducted in partnership with standards setting organizations and industry.

“In general, training on standardization activities appears to be scarce in academic circles,” said Dr. William E. Kelly, professor of civil engineering at the Catholic University of America and chairman of the ANSI committee on education. “Standards-related education is largely relegated to the professional arena.”

The Akela survey results support this conclusion, indicating that most standards education in Europe occurs among the ranks of the professionals rather than in the academic community. The survey focused on professional organizations (high level schools, universities, training centers, standardization bodies, etc.) more than on companies themselves, though there was an effort to measure corporate training activities.

Within the United States, the ANSI Committee on Education is working to develop a long-term strategy for university faculty outreach to promote the integration of standards and conformity assessment in the curricula. Originally formed in 2002 as an ad hoc group to support the implementation of Goal 11 of the National Standards Strategy, the Committee was added as a standing committee of the ANSI National Policy Committee in 2003. Currently, the group is working to assimilate standards-related information into the academic community so as to educate the next generation of business leaders on the strategic impact of standards and conformity assessment.

For more information on the ANSI Education Committee, or to participate in ANSI’s education and training programs, please contact Pamela Suett at 212.642.4976 or e-mail:

View the Report on A Survey of Schools of Engineering in the United States Concerning Standards Education

View the Akela Training and education for standardization in Europe survery results

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