Banking on research-led education
E Schmachtenberg, Rector, RWTH Aachen University, speaks to HT Horizons about the advantages of a German educationeducation Updated: Dec 15, 2010 09:19 IST
What is the orientation of the network of German institutes of technology (also known as TU9)?
We focus on research-led education right from the undergraduate level. One part of learning happens through books and the other part takes place through research. We believe that young ones are inspired by new ideas so we put education and research together.
What kind of partnership do you have with with IIT Madras?
We have partnerships with IIT Madras in areas of water, waste management, energy and land use. From German universities, one professor will go to IIT for research from each of these departments. The same number of faculty members will go from India to Germany.
Is it important to learn German for going and studying there?
It’s advisable to learn the local language when you have to spend a few years in any country. In many courses at the postgraduate level the medium of instruction is English. But if one applies for a scholarship, then the language clause is included, (which means one must know a basic level of German before applying). One can start learning here at the Max Mueller Bhawan and can continue it in Germany.
And it’s not difficult for any English-speaking person to learn German. Indians tend to pick up any language fast because they are good at languages and most Indian students speak two to three different languages.
Is the fee common for German and international students?
Yes, it is. The maximum fee one has to shell out is €1,000 per annum for any programme. But if the programme is taught in English, the fee would be around €3,000 at the postgraduate level.
At the undergraduate level, we don’t encourage international students to study in Germany because during graduation, students are taught the fundamentals of engineering of sciences that are common everywhere.
Apart from that, those programmes are taught in German whereas at the advanced level, that is masters or PhD, most programmes are taught in English.
How important is the international market for German institutes?
At RWTH Aachen University, out of 35,000 students, around 5,000 are Indians and DAAD (or the German Academic Exchange Service) is increasingly funding education of students.
In 1999, DAAD funded the education of 642 students while the number has increased to 1723.