This article examines global trends in engineering education, notably including, firstly, the increasing demand for knowledge and competencies which an engineer should possess in today’s world and, secondly, the gap between fundamental theoretical knowledge and practical experience. The first trend is regarded as a result of increasing product and manufacturing complexity. In order to maintain the necessary level of education, considerable changes should be brought to existing educational approaches. The practically oriented approach is supposed to play a significant role in this process and should serve as a bridge between theoretical basis and real tasks. In order to implement this approach in the most efficient way, a joint effort of universities and manufacturing companies is required. The article describes various initiatives and educational programs deployed by different universities around the world to solve the arising problems, increase the quality of education and enable better training, which prepares students for real-world engineering challenges.