Between Malaysia and Baden-Württemberg: Engineers ‘Made in Germany’
A foreign country, foreign language, foreign culture – and then a demanding degree programme on top: foreign students studying in Germany certainly don’t have it easy. This makes it all the more impressive that around 90% of Malaysian engineering students successfully complete a degree at a Swabian university. This is an achievement that makes not only the students proud but also their supporters: Malaysia, which awards the young academics scholarships, and the federal state of Baden-Württemberg. The federal state regards the Malaysian graduates as ambassadors who enhance Baden Württemberg’s reputation as an international education hub. After returning home, the university graduates often take up important positions in politics and industry, while maintaining good contacts with their German universities. Baden-Württemberg’s export-based industry benefits greatly from These networks.
Malaysia’s success in Swabia is no accident. The Malaysia State University Programme provides the engineering students with comprehensive supervision, and this helps them complete their degrees successfully. GIZ is coordinating the programme on behalf of the state of Baden-Württemberg and the Malaysian Government. German engineering degrees have a high reputation in Malaysia, not least thanks to their strong practical focus.
Preparation for the trip to Germany begins two and a half years before the students leave Malaysia. The scholarship recipients learn German and are also given tuition in physics, maths and English. The formalities associated with moving abroad, from visas to health insurance, are also set up in advance in Malaysia, with support from GIZ.
The university tutors also provide support, for example helping the students find company placements and submit job applications. Supervision, financial security and social integration are three success factors that are key for the high success rate among Malaysian students in Germany. Since the programme was launched in the late 1990s, around 650 young men and women from Malaysia have successfully completed a Bachelor’s degree in engineering in Baden-Württemberg; around half of these have gone on to take a Master’s degree.