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Studying in Erlangen


Mechanical engineering is a key industry and the “engine” of the German economy that ensures innovation and technological leadership. In the worldwide market for mechanical engineering, Germany has the largest percentage at about 20 % (more than the USA or Japan) [1].

Due to the high number of exports, all larger German companies in production engineering have a strong international orientation and are actively seeking internationally oriented engineers and managers with technical knowledge and competences in economics and foreign languages.

A striking discrepancy is often observed between requested professional qualifications and graduates’ profiles: While about half of the graduated engineers said in a study by the VDI (German Engineering Association) that fluent business English is essential for their position [2], only 1/3 of German students studied abroad in the context of their degree according to a study by HIS (Higher Education Information System) [3]. Therefore, the introduction of internationally oriented engineering degree programs is necessary.

The international Bachelor degree “International Production Engineering and Management” is comprised of six semesters and builds on the well established study programs “industrial engineering” and “mechanical engineering”. It focuses on production engineering and management with international content. It qualifies German speaking students for the occupational area of production technology in an international environment.

Targets and structure

In the first semesters, basic topics like mathematics, technical mechanics, design, production engineering and economics are taught. In addition, fundamentals in electrical engineering, computer science and material science are trained. From the second semester on, the fields of “International Production Engineering” and “International Production Management” are taught. In addition to the compulsory modules, a special set of English “International Elective Modules” have been created, from which the students may choose modules with technical and / or business content. International training is provided in the following forms:

  • English engineering and economics courses, such as “Production Technology” and “Quality management”. In special accompanying exercises, production-related terminology in English is taught. Lecture notes will be offered in English or bilingually.
  • Courses with international content (usually in English) like “International Supply Chain Management” or “Global Operations Strategy”
  • Integration of guest presentations held in English into lectures from international speakers , such as “Forming” or “Plastics Engineering”.
  • The third year of study provides two mobility windows to take into account the results from the HIS study that study abroad components in Bachelor’s degree programs is lower compared to diploma degree programs [3].

The fifth semester is ideal for studying at a partner university. The sixth semester is used primarily for the compulsory practical training (industrial placement) and / or writing Bachelor’s thesis abroad. The Bachelor’s thesis is to be written in a foreign language. It can be created under the joint supervision of a chair from the Erlangen Department of Mechanical Engineering and a foreign partner chair.

Literature (in German):

[1] VDMA (www.zukunft-maschinenbau.de) und
Magazin für Wirtschaft und Finanzen der Bundesregierung (http://www.bundesregierung.de/Content/DE/Magazine/MagazinWirtschaft
Finanzen/056/sp-3-deutscher-maschinen-und-anlagenbau-wichtiger-motor-im-deutschen-export.html
)
[2] VDI Ingenieurstudie 2008, http://www.hrk.de/bologna/de/home/3530.php
[3] Mobilität im Studium. Eine Untersuchung zu Mobilität und Mobilitätshindernissen in gestuften Studiengängen innerhalb Deutschlands. HRK – Statistik zur Hochschulpolitik 2/2008, http://www.hrk.de/bologna/de/home/3438.php