Recently we have seen an increase in the calls for universities and the education community to re-think undergraduate education and create opportunities that prepare students as effective global professionals. The key motivator is the need to build a research and industrial workforce that works collaboratively across cultures and disciplines to address major global challenges.
At the same time, computing, information, and communication technology facilitates a comprehensive ‘cyberinfrastructure’ on which new types of scientific and engineering knowledge environments and organizations can be constructed. We describe our four-year pilot experience with the Pacific Rim Experiences for Undergraduates (PRIME) project.
The goals of PRIME are to: develop an integrated and sustainable undergraduate international research program that serves as a model for 21st Century undergraduate education; prepare students to become effective global professionals and citizens; and give students a head-start on careers in science, engineering and technology research. We discuss the design and motivation for the scheme, salient implementation details, outcomes to date and discuss challenges of scalability and sustainability.