Institutional Transplantation in Education – Cultural Transfusion to a New Institution

This paper presents our experience and views on “institutional transplantation” in engineering education, motivated by the charge of delivering the Engineer of 2020. We draw on knowledge of some of Massachusetts Institute of Technology’s (MIT) historical and recent international collaborations. MIT’s experience with institutional transplantation appears to have become more intentional and comprehensive over time. The paper culminates in an analysis of MIT’s latest ongoing transplantation venture with the Singapore University of Technology and Design (SUTD). MIT has proposed that SUTD develop a primary symbiotic culture with three critical building blocks– (i) collaborative curriculum development, (ii) immersive professional
development programs for faculty, and (iii) support systems for students’ co-curricular development. The three initially act as vehicles that MIT is using in an attempt to bridge the cross-cultural differences and to transfuse the institutional culture via multiple different gates to SUTD. The three blocks ultimately interact to result in a cohesive campus-based educational environment.

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