The objective of the educational stream of the BRT-ALC CoE is to use the knowledge gained from the Observatory and Laboratory, covering all the planning and decision levels, in such a way that it generates added value to the real world of practitioners. Didactic materials to support teaching, education and training for regular and long-life learning will be produced with a market oriented perspective. Of particular note will be the two training simulation games discussed before.
We expect to provide instruction at different levels for graduate students, the general public, practitioners, decision makers, public transport operators, journalists and the financing community worldwide who are in need of understanding the challenges and benefits involved in designing, planning, financing implementing and operating efficient BRT. With this initiative we offer the possibility of establishing lifelong learning programs to update experienced professionals who have left educational programs behind due to their misfit with real world professional needs. This initiative should be of high added value to public and private stakeholders of BRT systems.
We envisage focusing on workshops, short courses and a certificate or diploma that could be offered at different cities around the world. We will also hold meetings where planners, engineers and decision takers can share their problems, perspectives and concerns in particular elements or stages of a city-wide PT modernization.
Simultaneously, we will focus several of our Ph.D. students into BRT issues, and develop graduate level courses on BRT opening a continuous stream of research that will be feed by real world problems, the results of which will cover the knowledge gap to overcome those problems. Towards this end, we envision the development of a BRT course, taught cooperatively across all of the participating universities at the graduate level. This course will be geared towards training the next-generation of leaders in this field and will focus on bringing cutting edge research into the classroom, taking advantage of the unique multi-national team of experts involved. All these efforts will use internet intensively.
To maximize the benefits of this course all teaching materials will be provided freely to anyone interested over the Internet following the model adopted by MIT over ten years ago which is called Open Course Ware (OCW). The material made available will include video of lectures as well as the presentation slides and assignments used to teach the key aspects of BRT planning and design.
An additional strategy which has been used with success in the MIT Transit Research and Professional Development program and which will be used as part of the educational strategy for the CoE is the internship. Graduate students interested in a career in urban transport or urban transport research would be encouraged to participate in summer internships with leading BRT agencies. The CoE would play the role of the catalyst in this program identifying potential interns and internships.
We will continue with the International Workshop on BRT series that we started last year and will be active in a workshop theme focused on BRT in the biannual Thredbo series (2011 South Africa, 2013 Singapore, and 2015 Chile). In addition we will publish a quarterly newsletter titled “BRT in Action” to keep the broader stakeholders set informed and to promote the CoE.
Work in Progress:
Assessment of needs and training and educational gaps: we are identifying needs at different levels of education and training, including long-life learning. From an international survey we will identify current gaps per country and region, allowing us to establish training needs and an action plan. An Inception Report has been developed, which already defines the following work plan:
i) Setting the assessment framework for education and training
ii) Survey on Stakeholders Needs
iii) Survey on existing Educational and Training Offers
iv) Gap assessment (Supply vs. demand on Education and Training)
v) Development of Structures for Knowledge Sharing