Frequently asked questions and general remarks on structures, processes and peculiarities of Dual Study programs
This handout aims to provide general information to Jordanian companies thinking to join forces with GJU in Dual Study programs, by addressing a number of common questions through the following FAQ list. GJU’s Office for Industrial Links and its Dual Studies Advisors are glad to address any further questions.
Background of Dual Studies
Some figures: 10% of the students in German Universities of Applied Sciences are enrolled in Dual Study programs. Almost one quarter of all study programs of German Universities of Applied Sciences are offered as Dual Studies. Unemployment of Dual graduates is virtually unknown, and 73 percent of Dual graduates in Germany still work in their sponsoring company three to five years after graduation.
As success of a company depends largely on the potential of its employees and on its /their capacity to innovate, provision of highly qualified, fit-for-the-job graduates, participation in and recruitment through a Dual Study program is an asset for companies concerning both staff development and access to innovation.
Based on its intense partnerships with German universities and companies, GJU has developed a high-quality Dual Study format. This Jordanian Dual Study model is adapted to the demands of Jordanian companies, who have been closely incorporated in the development process, and the needs of the Jordanian economy.
What about vacation?
- Dual Students are entitled to the same amount of paid vacation days like any other regular trainee with an apprenticeship contract at the same company.
- Leave is to be taken during the practical phases.
- Company should grant additional leave in case of academic exams (e.g. make-up exams) and other important academic obligations falling into the practical phases.
How high are the monthly expense allowance of Dual Students?
- The companies pay the expense allowance to all Dual Student trainees.
- This allowance is considered a voluntary compensation by the company for transportation costs, meals and additional burdens born by the student and related to the fact that he/she is working/studying at different, maybe remote locations.
- The height of the allowance should be 250 JOD per month, but not less than 200 JOD per month.
- The allowance should be the same for all students in one cohort.
?Are dual studies students insured
- (Yes). During the practical stages, the company is required to provide suitable insurance. The university provides continuous health insurance.
What will be the costs a company has to bear per Dual Student?
- Investment of the company includes the expense allowance of the student trainee and staff costs related to the training (guidance and supervision of the Dual Student, communication and coordination with GJU).
- A financial contribution for the services of GJU or for external experts provided by third partners through GJU is not required.
- Partners have to keep in mind that, due to high workload and reduced presence on campus, Dual Students need to be taken special care of.
What will the relation between Company and GJU look like on working level?
- As one of the main challenges in the set-up of Dual Study programs is the matching of the content of vocational training and academic training, partners have to join forces and collaborate to their best possibilities to achieve this goal.
- As the academic content has to be adapted regularly to the changing necessities of the companies (curricula revision), company representatives are asked to engage in related discussions and meetings, to which they are frequently invited.
- Partners have to secure that training activities do not overlap and that contact persons can be reached at times comfortable to the students.
- The cooperation between GJU and the companies is reflected in the active cooperation of both sides, also in joint committees.
- It is important that companies and universities maintain close personal contacts and have regular meetings for discussion and exchange on both program and management level. Fixed contact points are needed, low turnover of staff is desirable to avoid loss of knowledge.
- Partners should convene regularly on high level to discuss progress and challenges. These meetings should deliver proposals for decisions, and may include other stakeholders.
- The university ensures the academic capabilities of the students. The scientific level of a Dual Bachelor's degree program is comparable to the standards of a normal bachelor's degree course in the same field. Both degrees allow access to master-level studies.
- It should be agreed between companies and GJU, which topics students may deal with in their projects and what students have to deliver in their bachelor thesis.
Which are the added values GJU’s Dual Study programs offer?
Cooperation with GJU in a Dual Study programs pays off in many respects:
- Well-established, intensified contacts to institutions conduction applied research
- Access to innovation
- Solutions to actual challenges the Company faces (Dual Study programs include study projects, in which students work independently, though supported by supervisors from the University and from the Company, on a specific question or problem which was defined by the company, presenting a solution or a scenario as a result.)
- Through GJUs intensive collaboration to more than 110 partner universities and a similar number of partner companies in Germany:
i. New contacts to German companies through the internship abroad included in the Dual program
ii. Fresh ideas and business opportunities with German companies
e) Recruitment of tailor-made graduates with well-developed competences:
i. Well-acquainted with the Company’s structures and processes from day one of employment
ii. Solid emotional ties to the Company
iii. Knowledge about workflows and processes in German internship partner companies
iv. Thinking in other, new structures
v. Intercultural knowledge, tested in real life
vi. Fluency in German and English as foreign languages
vii. Strong soft skills
viii. Personality development in an international context
ix. Direct influence on the development of the Dual curricula (also on the academic parts)
x. No costly past-graduate training / upgrading of Dual employees
- Especially for SMEs, which often cannot afford to hire specialists, it should be attractive to recruit Dual graduates, as they have more generalist skills.
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 GJU Dual Studies 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.
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.
How to decide about joining a Dual Study program of GJU?
- Clarify your recruiting demands – which and how many highly qualified employees will you need in the coming five to ten years?
- Do you have the means to develop a concise training plan for the Dual Student(s)? This can be done in cooperation with GJU staff and external experts, but certain prerequisites must be met by your company.
- Do you have the time and staff to get involved in related committees / Boards to develop and influence the shape of the Dual program and its content?
- Are you ready to engage in a long-term partnership, with GJU as well as with one or several students, both manifested through a Company-University and a Company Student contract to define the relation (“rights and duties”) between the partners?
- … and in addition
- Liaise with other companies that also run Dual Study programs to share impressions and experiences (GJU is ready to provide contact persons in companies).
What requirements does a company have to fulfill to participate in a Dual Study program?
- The company should be willing to provide well-guided quality training.
- It should therefore engage in a discussion with GJU how to harmonize the vocational and the academic parts of the program for the highest possible degree of employability of the student.
- There must be a company training plan (can eventually be developed with support by GJU), which presents the training content in the enterprise, in terms of time and materials / resources, and relates to the academic content.
- The company has to provide a qualified supervisor / mentor for each accepted student. In addition, it has to nominate a person (Liaison Officer) in charge of maintaining continuous contact with a respective counterpart at GJU.
- The Company has to sign a “Company-University Contract on collaboration in the Dual Study program”. This contract includes duties, rights, timelines and dates of all partners. It should be as much uniform as possible for all, but leave room for flexibility, as participating companies have different needs and strategies. The Company-University Contract ensures that the students can complete their studies even if unexpected changes in the cooperation between the company and university arise.
What are the requirements that applicants (trainee students) must meet in order to be accepted into the Dual bachelor's program?
Applicants must meet the minimum academic requirements determined by the relevant school. Students are required to have a partner company. It is possible for students to propose a company willing to train them within the dual study program, and the company must comply with the program's regulations and sign a partnership agreement with the university. Alternatively, students may be selected by one of the partner companies in the program.
How are the applicants (student trainees) selected?
- Students hand in their application to the program at GJU.
- Each student accepted by GJU in principal then names three of the partner companies engaged in the Dual Study program, in prioritized order, where he/she wants to undergo training in the program’s practical phases.
- The Company decides which student trainee(s) it wants to accept. It can use its own evaluation criteria for this end.
- Companies convene for final distribution of the students.
- Student must sign a training contract with the company (Company-Student contract; draft available at GJU’s Office for Industrial Links).
- … and in addition
- If you think about suitable trainees / students, do not only consider their grades, but also think about motivation and other (practical) skills.
What’s the nature of the training the company has to offer?
- The professional scope of the training in the companies should not aim exclusively at a specific activity in the sponsoring company, but should prepare for various possible fields of employment.
- The qualification objectives of the Dual programs are clearly presented in the outline of the program and in the curriculum. They must be agreed between all cooperation partners directly involved in the implementation of the Dual program.
What are the timelines that apply to the selection of trainee students for the Dual Studies program?
Candidates are selected through a collaborative process between GJU and partner companies.
First, the German Jordanian University evaluates the student's application for the Dual Studies program. If admission requirements are met and the student is accepted at GJU, the application documents are sent to three companies that the student has previously identified as preferred options for their practical phases.
Second, the university organizes a Company Day, providing partner companies with an opportunity to introduce themselves to the students.
Third, each company reviews the incoming applications and internally ranks the candidates. The company may use interviews or other assessment methods to make their selections. Through this process, the company provides a list to the Dual Studies coordinator of the students they intend to accept for their practical training phases.
Fourth, the Dual Studies coordinator formulates an employment plan for the students and companies. In case of any mismatches, a joint alignment meeting will be held.
Finally, the student and the company sign a contract, outlining their respective rights and responsibilities.
What does a Company-Student contract in a Dual Study program look like?
Important elements of this contract (model contract is available at the Office for Industrial Links) are:
- Overall date of beginning and of end of contract.
- Content and duration of training
- Daily and weekly working time during practical phases
- Number of days of vacation
- Rights and duties of the company and the student
- Height of expenses allowance paid to the student
- Insurance matters
- Obligation of the student to work in the Company for a certain period of time after graduation, on the condition that the Company offers an appropriate position to the graduate. If he/she nevertheless chooses to leave the Company earlier he/she has to pay back the all expense allowances received during training.