A team of professors from the University of Alaska Fairbanks will spend the next several years working with the newly formed American University of Mongolia to create an engineering school.
UAF recently signed contract with AUM, which is under development in Ulaanbaatar, the capital city of Mongolia.
Under the terms of the contract, a team of seven engineering professors, led by mining and geological engineering chairman Rajive Ganguli, will create a comprehensive design for the school. Their work will include creating curricula, identifying faculty and staff needs, exploring accreditation requirements and designing space for classrooms and laboratories. Their work will also include planning for a cold weather engineering research and training center.
The new partnership is the latest in a trend of increased collaboration between UAF and Mongolia, including an academic and research agreement with Erdenet Mining Company and an agreement that allows undergraduate engineering students to spend the first half of their studies at the Mongolian University of Science and Technology and the final half at UAF.
“Though a research-intensive university, the teaching mission is taken seriously at UAF. This is reflected in the fact that we place our graduates not only with Alaska employers, but also with large, international companies such as BP, Freeport McMoRan and BHP Billiton,” Ganguli said. “With AUM emphasizing good quality education above everything else, I was very happy to participate. Just like Alaska kids, Mongolians will have access to great engineering education in their own backyard.”
The new engineering program at AUM will be designed to be able to receive accreditation from the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology. Through its four commissions ABET accredits 3,100 engineering, science and technology programs in six hundred colleges worldwide.
Funding for the project has come from a consortium of mining and mining supply companies in Mongolia.
“In this time of dynamic economic growth and expansion of the mining sector in Mongolia, the need for skilled engineers is at its highest and we strongly believe that with an experienced and committed project team supplemented by strong supporters, the project will reach its mission to provide quality education to future engineers of Mongolia,” said Battsengel Gotov, CEO of Energy Resources LLC, one of the consortium members.