Engineers are at a premium in Latin America, and it's a scarcity that has a direct effect on innovation. Here's a look at five engineering schools that excel in international rankings.
Engineers are what Latin America needs. There is no question about it. Various institutions have worked towards addressing the long-standing skills gap and boosting the region's competitiveness and capacity to innovate. A striking example is that five Latin American universities were featured in the Emerging Markets Top 100 issued by Times Higher Education, but no Latin American engineering school was featured among the world's top 100.
The Escola Politecnica da USP, in Sao Paulo, whose history spans over 120 years, is the most comprehensive engineering school and serves as a reference in the region. It promotes 18 undergraduate areas in most engineering disciplines as well as 12 graduate courses and MBAs. Since last year, the "Poli," as it is locally known, has put a greater emphasis on multidisciplinary engineering in order to prepare students to face real-world situations.
The Instituto Tecnologico de Aeronautica (ITA) has also established a strong reputation in Brazil, mainly due to its historic links with the aircraft manufacturer, Embraer, which was set up in 1969 as an extension of ITA. The engineering school, which is based in Sao Jose dos Campos (70 miles from Sao Paulo), has a cooperation agreement with the Paris Ecole Polytechnique. It has also established a partnership with MIT to expand its activities.
Meanwhile, Carlos Americo Pacheco, ITA's principal, uses California's Caltech as a benchmark. "We want to be the institution in technological...