How is Sister Nivedita University of Kolkata
Ten years of the German-Indian teaching association
In the year before graduation, Indian students are involved in German-speaking study operations and receive the German engineering bachelor's degree at the end of their studies. Many of them are completing a master’s degree or going into employment, both in Germany and in India. Photo: WH / Dirk Fröhling
On October 1st 2010 the IGCHE, the "Indo German Center for Higher Education" was founded. The Westphalian University was one of the founding universities and is currently and until 2025 consortium leader of the eight German universities involved. In the anniversary year, the sister Nivedita University in Kolkata (formerly Calcutta) was joined by a new partner university in India.
(BL) There have been trade relations between Germany and India since the 16th century. Today there are many German companies operating in India and many Indian companies doing business in Germany. "For this you need people who know the other country's culture well and are able to mediate economically," describes Prof. Dr. Dirk Fröhling from the Gelsenkirchen Institute for Mechanical Engineering and currently the consortium leader at the German-Indian Center for Higher Education (IGCHE) explains the special spirit of this teaching network: “The students first go through a six-semester engineering course in India at our partner universities, which teaches intensive German language skills right from the start. During this time, they can come to Germany for block weeks during the lecture-free periods and gain their first experience abroad. When the students come to one of the IGCHE's partner universities for their final year in Germany, they have either already passed the language test required to study at a German-speaking university or can acquire this language level after a short period of time. This is followed by two semesters of specialist studies, internships in German companies and the bachelor thesis, so that they usually receive the German engineering bachelor's degree after four years So deep insight into the German way of thinking and working that you can work as an “industrial ambassador” for German companies in India as well as for Indian companies in Germany. Fröhling: “That's why we only have small group sizes. As a rule there are only around five students per course and location, so that the Indian students can integrate themselves firmly into German learning groups without succumbing to the temptation to form Indian special groups and thus have too little contact with their German fellow students. "The Westfälische Hochschule participates in the program with the courses in mechanical engineering in Gelsenkirchen and mechatronics in Bocholt.
On the Germany-India axis, both lecturers can take on foreign teaching assignments and German students can spend semesters at the Indian partner universities. In the west-east direction, the solution of the language differences is easy, because India uses English as the business and teaching language at universities and not the more than twenty national languages of India. Here, too, the number of German students who take advantage of this offer is not large, "but nobody has regretted it yet," says Fröhling. The Indian students also say that studying in Gelsenkirchen and in German is not easy, but the greater the joy of having mastered it with a German degree and thus successfully entering a postgraduate course on the German-Indian industrial axis or get into the job. Video experiences from program graduates can be found on the IGCHE homepage https://www.igche.de/.
Through the IGCHE, German students can spend semesters in India that will be recognized on their German degree. English as the language of instruction is common in India. German teachers offer guest lectures. In the background: Prof. Dr. Dirk Fröhling, currently the IGCHE consortium leader. Photo: PSG / Ina Kroker
The sister Nivedita University in Kolkata / West Bengal has also been part of the IGCHE network since 2020. Photo: SNU / Satyajit Samanta
From the photo album from 2010: The university managements of the German consortium partners were very committed and convinced of the IGCHE on the occasion of the signing of the contract (from left to right): Prof. Dr. Bernd Kriegesmann, President of the Gelsenkirchen University of Applied Sciences (today: Westphalian University), Prof. Dr. Hartmut Ihne, President of the Bonn-Rhein-Sieg University of Applied Sciences, (then) head of the Indo-German Center of Higher Education, Prof. Dr. Roland Böttcher (Bochum University of Applied Sciences), Prof. Dr. Martin Sternberg, President of Bochum University, and Prof. Dr. Dr. h.c. Roland Giese, Vice Rector for Education at the Zittau / Görlitz University of Applied Sciences. Photo: Bochum University / Detlef Bremkens
The "Indo German Center for Higher Education" is a German-Indian teaching project in which Indian students acquire the German engineering bachelor's degree in mechanical engineering, mechatronics, electrical engineering or computer science and German students spend semesters at Indian partner universities, which for their degree in Germany are recognized. In addition to the Westphalian University of Applied Sciences, the German partner universities are the TH Bingen, the HS Bochum, the HS Bonn-Rhein-Sieg, the TH Deggendorf, the HS Düsseldorf, the FH Kiel and the HS Zittau / Görlitz. The Indian partner universities are PSG universities in Coimbatore / Tamil Nadu, Vel Tech in Chennai / Tamil Nadu and Sister Nivedita University in Kolkata / West Bengal. After ten years of IGCHE there are almost 70 graduates and around 200 students in India, around 50 students are each in Germany distributed across the German partner universities. Indian students could also be admitted to the Corona winter semester 2020/21, even if the video conference often has to replace the presence, as the corona virus often prevented the timely issuance of the necessary visas.
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