An innovative format in Jordanian Higher Education: Dual Study Programs @ GJU
Randolph Galla, Dual Studies Advisor at the German-Jordanian University's Office of Industrial Links (OIL), delivers a lecture for representatives of Jordanian companies and senior GJU faculty members, on Thursday 1 September 2016. (Photo courtesy of GJU)
Interested what others think about the project? Visit the Press Releases section.
What are Dual Study Programs?
Dual Study Programs are essentially a reaction to two challenges: How to raise employability of university graduates and how to provide the labor market with qualified employees who possess sound skills in practice and theory. In these programs, academic and vocational training are integrated and take place at two locations: A university and a company. Content of the academic part is exactly the same concerning the level and quality of the taught courses and roughly the same concerning the quantity of academic courses. In addition, work in a partner company. What they do there is aligned with their academic studies - students apply their knowledge right away and become familiar with the real life work environment already during the program.
Most Dual Study Programs award a Bachelor degree, but there are also some on Master’s level. Often, students are entitled to an expense allowance (not to be confused with a salary), compensating travel expenses etc. For more information, have a look at the Dual Studies Brochure.
What is the difference to just adding more internships?
In Dual Study Programs, the academic curriculum and the training at the company are closely connected. Students are continuously integrated in the company‘s workflow, so that they become well acquainted with processes and structures and are immediately fit to start work after graduation. Many of them are directly hired by “their” company, and the others are much demanded by other employers.
In Germany, Dual Study Programs exists since many years and have proven to be effective in providing companies with "tailor made" new staff and to bring graduates directly into employment, but also to enhance industry-university cooperation.
Why should we introduce Dual Study Programs in Jordan and at GJU?
Highly qualified “brains” are Jordan’s most important resource, but their education has to fit with the needs of the Jordanian economy.
Many companies have voiced a need for more staff able to apply theoretical knowledge for managing and problem solving in the real world. They also argue that graduates should be better trained in soft skills like project management, negotiation skills, teamwork in applied and international contexts etc. Such soft skills are trained best in real life situations, i.e. in the companies and not just in the classroom.
GJU as a University following the Applied Sciences model has excellent prerequisites to carry out such an ambitious project successfully: Well established contacts to Jordanian firms (its proximity to industry, called the "Industrial Dimension"), an innovative and entrepreneurial spirit, a proactive management and motivated academic staff on the one hand, and pronounced links to Germany on various levels and its numerous partner universities and companies in Germany (called the "German Dimension") on the other. It wants to further intensify its cooperation with industry, to foster innovation, increase productivity, and reduce youth unemployment. This cooperation also serves to develop new and innovative curricula, as companies are invited to participate in curriculum development and bring in their needs and perspectives. That takes place especially (but not only) in Dual Study Programs, which can only work if university and industry are working closely together.
In brief, the establishment of Dual Study Programs creates a win-win situation for companies, the GJU and students.
What will Dual Study Programs at GJU look like?
With the establishment of Dual Study programs, Higher Education in Jordan will enter new territory. Due to the different economic and cultural situation, the introduction of Dual Study programs must take place in an adapted form. Selected partner companies and important other stakeholders were invited to join reflections about the best way to set up Dual Study programs at GJU.
Based on the findings of the related workshops and discussions, the OIL team is currently developing compatible and feasible proposals. It was decided to set up of dual study options (“tracks”) within existing BA courses of GJU. For a start, GJU plans to offer two Dual Study tracks. Once established, these tracks will provide a model for further Dual Study programs, also at other Jordanian universities.
BA programs will be enriched with intensive practical phases in selected partner companies. Students will study at GJU and work at a company in intervals throughout the entire duration of the program. They will also go to Germany to spend a semester at a partner university and to do an internship at a German company.
Dual Studies @ GJU will be more than just another internship – students are supposed to take over serious tasks in the companies, bring the knowledge gained at GJU to their workplace at the company and include current challenges and research interests identified in the companies to GJU, through projects, thesis work etc.
Further information will be available on this website in due time. Please also visit the Documents section.
Randolph Galla, M.A. (Phil.), M.A. (Educ.)
Dual Studies Advisor, Office for Industrial Links
Building B, Office 113 (First Floor)