FRANKFURT – The growing number of Malaysian students engaged in acquiring expertise in highly specialised engineering subjects at German universities and technical institutions, is expected to complement and strengthen the Malaysian industry’s technological backbone in the future.

Malaysian consul general in Frankfurt, Adina Kamarudin, whose consular jurisdiction embraces four German states of Hesse, Rhineland-Palatinate, North Rhine Westphalia and Thuringia, says the number of Malaysian students studying technical subjects at German institutions was “steadily rising”.

“I believe this trend will continue,” she predicts.

Rohana Mohd Yunus, director of the Frankfurt-based MARA (Majlis Amanah Rakyat) Germany, said in an interview with Bernama that “there are over 250 MARA-sponsored Malaysian students”.

“However, I am told that the actual number of students is over 1,000, including those who come on their own or through private organisations with which we do not have any affiliation,” she noted, acknowledging that the number of Malaysian students in the USA and UK were much higher.

Malaysian students pursued courses that are very specialised and could complement the Malaysian industry’s efforts to strengthen its technological portfolio.

“Since German technology is already highly advanced and its engineering prowess world-renowned, Malaysian students come here to study. They also stand to benefit from the low-cost heavily-subsidised education system in this country.

“However, all students studying here are required to learn German first and acquire a certain level of proficiency which makes life easier,” Rohana said.

S. Siva, the director of the Frankfurt office of Malaysia Investment Development Authority (MIDA), who speaks of “Malaysian Engineers – Made in Germany”, told Bernama that the “key to Germany’s economic success is its education system”.

“Germany’s wealth relies entirely on the innovative potential and the dynamics of its companies, so it is hardly surprising that Germany attaches great significance to education and learning as well as to research and development,” Siva said.

According to MIDA Frankfurt, there are 400 higher learning institutions in Germany, offering about 16,000 degree programmes in which some 2.12 million students are enrolled, including 265,000 foreign students who account for 12.5 per cent of the total student population.

Germany is the fourth most-preferred host country for foreign students, behind the USA, UK and Australia.

Indeed, in collaboration with the JPA and MARA offices in Frankfurt and the Malaysian consulate general, MIDA has successfully persuaded German companies that have operations in Malaysia to offer scholarships,” Siva said.

Malaysian graduates whose curriculum includes a “hands on” practical training at German companies, have better chances of employment in German companies in Malaysia, depending on their specialised skills and the German company’s needs.

“And if they do not want or get employment with a German company, they end up forming their own company, as in cases of many returnees. It’s a win-win situation,” observes Siva.



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