Aims & Objectives
As one of the topics of the dialogue, the differences in the education systems in the partner countries will be highlighted. The education system in most Muslim countries is based on the more theoretical American system, therefore industry in Islamic countries has to expend a significant amount of time and money on teaching graduates basic practical knowledge. As a German university of applied sciences, Furtwangen University is more practically oriented. Therefore, the theoretical aspects of the engineering education system in Islamic countries which strengthen the underlying knowledge of the students and researchers will be discussed in parallel with the more practical approach of the German partner. Consequently, a deep familiarity of the partners will be established which will help them identify their differences and optimize their weaknesses through planned collaboration and dialogue. The structure of practical courses, course projects and practical semester can be remodeled for the Muslim partners to improve their practical aspects, while the theoretical syllabus of the Iranian and Jordanian universities could be of significance for the German university.
The workshops mentioned in the previous section contribute to the improvement of teaching methods by providing complementary scientific and technical material for the courses offered in the partner universities. The workshops provide theoretical insight into the practical courses and introduce more practical aspects to the analytical and theoretical courses.
Joint scientific publications
Besides the E-courses and taking into consideration the topics presented in the workshops, some research activities will be defined and followed by the participating academics. The experimental and analytical outcomes of these activities will be summarized in scientific publications which will lead to the qualification of the partners. The resulting publications will take advantage of the fact that they have been developed taking into consideration both theoretical and experimental aspects of the research topics.
Guest lectures for the selected courses and summer schools
Through the extension of professional connections within the partner universities and their local networks, it will be possible to locate academic and industrial experts whose activities match the fields of interest of the partners. Accordingly, short visits and lectures are planned. Summer schools address this purpose by providing the oppportunity for students, researchers and professors to visit a partner institute for a time period of 1 to 3 months to attend courses, write/supervise parts of Bachelor's or Master's Theses, or to lecture and work on joint research projects.
E-Learning Courses (as a future program)
An important consequence of the program is that the partners become familiar with each other’s potentials and abilities through the workshops, publications and communication. Therefore, after the planned time of the whole program, academic lecturers from Iran and Jordan can offer E-learning courses on numerical simulations and probably analytical courses, while Furtwangen University can offer E-learning courses on machining and precision manufacturing processes. The E-learning courses could be even extended to more local universities and institutions through proper announcement, so that the dialogue network could be expanded further. These E-courses also improve the internationalisation of Furtwangen University as there are almost no English course offered in the Mechanical Engineering and Mechatronics (Maschinenbau und Mechatronik) degree program at Furtwangen University at the moment.
1. Objectives and measures in the area of promotion of young academics and gender equality
The representatives of the partner universities are all young professors at the beginning of their academic career. All of them have had international experience as they have either received a degree in a foreign country or visited a foreign university as a visiting professor or researcher (sabbatical leave). Besides this personal international experience, the proposed program provides a multidisciplinary, structured and sustainable background for the academic representatives at the first level, and for their academic institutions at the second level. The young academics would be promoted to plan and accomplish more intercultural and international activities in their future career. The program also makes them more qualified for handling industrial and academic administrative positions as they gather experience and have already established relevant local and international contacts.
Priority of female applicants
Female students and participants are of higher priority in the student exchange programs as regards joint thesis supervision, twinning program and student exchange. A quota of at least 30% female participants will be required of the workshops, tours and courses. Therefore it is important to promote the events effectively.
Female buddy teams
The members of the buddy teams for the female participants will be selected from among German, Sunni and Shiite women. Therefore, the establishment of an effective dialogue will be inevitable through the mutual support of the members.
Workshops, tours and exchange programs
The gap between the potential social participation of women and their qualification (as described in the themes of the dialogue) seems to be much smaller in western countries than in Muslim societies. Among the dialogue partners, Furtwangen University can be considered a typical, in that a large number of female professors and employees are employed, and even in the most practical fields of machining sciences, female PhD candidates pursue professional careers. Through the scheduling of workshops, practice semesters and lectures, female researchers will extend the social and international experience and share their achievements with the dialogue partners. The planned workshops, summer schools and events of the program will also help to convince Iranian and Jordanian industries and universities to hire female graduates. Gaining engineering experience in Germany with assist both male and female students who participate in this program. The successful experience of gender equality in work and industry and its positive effects on the German economy can be transferred to the partner communities from the Muslim countries and encourage similar results.
Soft skills workshops for female academics and women in industry
Soft skills workshops will be held for the partner universities in the Islamic countries (German Jordanian University and Shiraz University of Technology). The target participants of the workshops are female academics and women working in industry. The focus will be on the promotion of women in dealing with risk, competition, problem solving, and motivation.
2. Objectives and measures in the area of establishing regional teaching and research networks
Announcement of the events
Public announcement of the events such as workshops and summer schools through the media and the webpages of the program is a reason for the local academics and members of industry to come together and provide an opportunity to take part in the present program or establish new plans for further cooperation.
Different aspects of manufacturing processes can be handled by the partner universities according to their experience and facilities. Therefore, future research activities can be divided among the partners according to their expertise. The division could be made through the introduction of research subgroups such as “Modelling and simulation of machining processes”, “Experimental machining investigation” and “Measurement and data evaluation”. As a consequence the research projects can be improved qualitatively and will be accomplished in shorter time periods. Modelling and simulation of the machining and manufacturing processes, which mainly requires software skills, can be carried out in Iran and Jordan, and experimental investigations, which mainly require precise equipment and machinery, and related experience can be performed in Germany.
Joint Master and PhD thesis supervision:
Each partner has their own area of expertise (though all have a mechanical engineering background). Therefore, joint Master's and PhD theses can be defined and supervised to take advantage of cost-intensive equipment and theoretical background within the cooperating institutes. There have already been successful experiences of joint PhD candidates in the KSF institute with German universities and also two universities in Iran (Sharif University of Technology and Tarbiat Modarres University).
Twinning programs or student exchange:
The partner universities can consider the possibility of establishing twinning studies during this program. The twinning study program take place at the bachelor level. The first 2 years of the bachelor program are taught in the partner institutions in Iran and Jordan, and the final year is taught at Furtwangen University. At the end of the program, successful students would be given priority to pursue their studies at Furtwangen University in the two-year MSc Advanced Precision Engineering course.
As a student exchange possibility, at every point during their study program, bachelor's or master's students can attend one of the partner universities for one semester.
3. Objectives and measures in the area of contributing to the development of societies
Technical and cultural societies
Considering the outcomes of the program as a successful cooperation between Muslim and German universities on one hand, and the Sunni and Shiite communities on the other hand, a research group will be established in the partner universities. The representatives of the group will be academic staff or graduate students who have taken part in the program and can promote further activities based on their prior experience.
Structured contact between universities and industries in Iran and Jordan
Considering the successful and long-term experience of the KSF Institute in bringing the academic and industrial staff together in the form of defined working groups, the idea can be extended to the partner universities in Iran and Jordan. The dominant industries in the Muslim partners (oil, automotive and steel industry) could be targets of the industrial integration of the universities. Therefore, working groups with periodic meetings and events can be founded to accomplish predefined tasks within a specific time period.