1. October 2015

“International Engineering”: Saarland University and regional companies initiate engineering studies for refugees

In the morning German classes, in the afternoon “Programming for Engineers”: Saarland University and regional companies are teaming up to integrate refugees and to prepare them for engineering studies. Themed “International Engineering”, the program combines German classes with engineering lectures in English to develop and stimulate the refugees’ language and technical skills. IHK Saarland and regional companies like Dialogika, Dillinger Hütte, Saarstahl AG, Scheer GmbH and Sirrix AG plus Werner Zeh Foundation are supporting the initiative.

In August, Saarland University was one of the first educational institutions to announce that refugees who have some technical background but are not able to provide credentials will be allowed to study selected subjects in science and engineering. The prerequisite is that the students prove their educational qualifications by passing an exam held next week on the campus of Saarland University (More information: www.uni-saarland.de/en/service/asyl-stud.html)

The best students will be admitted to the preparatory course for foreign students to study the German language for one year. The goal is that after this year, they will be able to understand the introductory lectures. In addition, they can apply for financial student aid offered by the government and get tickets for public transport at a reduced price.

To ensure that everyone who has passed the exam gets an opportunity to learn not only language skills but also technical skills, Saarland University is now introducing the program “International Engineering”, which combines language and engineering classes. It will start with the introductory lecture “Programming for Engineers” this November, which for the first time is being taught in English. In this lecture, Professor Zeller, chair of Software Engineering, uses the physical computing platform “Arduino” to teach students how to program electronic control and sensor systems correctly and efficiently. This knowledge is essential for vehicle construction, automation engineering, communication technology, robotics, medical engineering and applications in aeronautics—areas in which skilled employees are in high demand. Hence, Saarland University is supported by several regional companies, such as Dialogika, Dillinger Hütte, Saarstahl AG, Scheer GmbH and Sirrix AG plus Werner Zeh Foundation.

“With the combination of language classes and engineering studies, we integrate the refugees into life on campus, and from the first day on, we teach them language and technical skills they need for study and a career in tech”, Zeller points out. For the next term, he has already arranged with his colleagues to give a follow-up lecture which is in German, but also provided with English-speaking tutors. Moreover, the professors plan to further develop “International Engineering” into a complete course of study for newcomers.

Press contact:

Stabsstelle Internationales

Tel.: +49 (0)681 302 3316

neustart(at)uni-saarland.de

Prof. Andreas Zeller

Chair of Software Engineering

Tel. + 49 (0)681 302-70971

E-Mail: zeller(at)cs.uni-saarland.de

Editor:

Gordon Bolduan

Competence Center Computer Science

Saarland University

Tel.: 0681 302-70741

E-Mail: bolduan(at)mmci.uni-saarland.de