Studying abroad greatly improves students’ career prospects in several ways, and it helps them to confront new opportunities by forcing them out of their comfort zones. Indian students are no different, and over the years, many have travelled overseas to pursue further studies; that number is rising every year. In fact, recent reports suggest that Indian students are studying in as many as 90 countries across the globe. In their search for these opportunities beyond India’s borders, Indian students consider many countries, but Germany is always at the top of the list, thanks to its ever-welcoming atmosphere and practical, real-world approach to learning and building a career – especially in IT and other high-tech, future-looking sectors. SRH University Heidelberg is a pioneer of this approach, giving back to the world and relentlessly working to prepare each and every one of its students, irrespective of ethnicity, creed or background.
Some 3,600 students have found their educational home in one of six faculties: the School of Applied Psychology; the School of Information, Media and Design; the School of Therapeutic Sciences; the School of Social and Legal Sciences; the School of Business; and the School of Engineering and Architecture. This allows SRH University Heidelberg to offer over 40 modern, practice-oriented degree programmes, culminating in internationally recognised Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees. In addition, the university also offers a series of Dual Degree Certification Programmes with its partner universities. Students spend part of their programme abroad, and ultimately receive two academic degrees – one degree from each country.
Bringing research and innovation into the classroom is another critical component of SRH University Heidelberg’s approach to teaching and learning, benefiting everyone at the university, regardless of their faculty or degree programme. As Professor Dr Carsten Diener, President of SRH, stated, “Research is firmly embedded in our studies according to our CORE Principle. CORE stands for ‘Competence-Oriented Research and Education,’ and it guides our entire teaching philosophy. It puts our students on the cutting edge of science, and gets them actively involved in practice-oriented research projects.”
SRH University Heidelberg’s CORE Principle means taking time to work with every student, helping them to reach their respective goals, as well as to prepare for a career after their studies. The CORE Principle helps the university to consistently structure all study goals and exam formats, as well as learning and teaching methods. This includes putting students into small, dynamic teams that learn together for five weeks at a time, working on assignments and projects with real-world applications. At SRH, trying out new things is not just allowed – it is actively encouraged, reinforcing the university’s emphasis on experience-based learning. Commenting on this unique aspect, Alumna Juili Potdar, M.Sc. Applied Computer Science, remarked: “At SRH, you don’t study for the professor or the Examination Office, but primarily for your own projects and your whole (professional) life.” Moreover, the exam format itself is tailored to the task – from a traditional, in-class, closed-book written exam, to more unconventional formats, such as a learning diary. Continuous feedback from instructors takes place throughout, making students feel rewarded and fulfilled for their work. Instead of just teaching their respective subjects, faculty members guide students as expert coaches. The strong bonds that form between students and their mentors help them to acquire specialist knowledge and hone their soft and hard skills. These relationships also motivate students to perform on a daily basis, achieving the best possible outcome. And the academic world has taken note: “For developing and implementing the CORE Principle, our university received the Genius Loci Award for Excellence in Teaching – one of the most important recognitions in higher education,” stated Professor Dr Carsten Diener, President of SRH.
A University that Puts Students’ Goals First
As a unique hotspot of unconventional learning opportunities and experiences, SRH University Heidelberg believes in an equal distribution of learning across platforms and domains. While the university gives students an impressive view of the world-class industrial activity that takes place in Germany, it also makes sure that students are capable of working together in functional teams on real projects – with partners from the real world. These encounters provide optimal chances to prepare students for professional life, e.g. by developing social skills such as the ability to accept criticism, to think outside the box, and to solve problems creatively. “These are exactly the skills that employers expect from their employees today, and this is what we at SRH are here for,” as Professor Dr Diener put it. This means that after graduation, students can put not only a degree on their CV, but also project references from the private sector. Precisely because of Germany’s outstanding business climate for high-tech, internationally oriented firms, there is growing demand for skilled graduates – and for SRH alumni, this means a high percentage of graduates quickly finding quality, well-paid employment.
SRH collaborates with dozens of renowned companies from a wide range of industries to prepare its students. The Rhine-Neckar Metropolitan Region is home to firms that are global market leaders in their industry. Many of them are SRH’s partners; some even participate as practical advisors in the degree programmes. Besides bringing their technical expertise to the table, these partners also contribute their deep understanding of teaching and mentoring, developing practical projects and facilitating internships. Moreover, the university has been actively involved in promoting startups for almost 15 years, supporting and nurturing students and graduates in this critical area of economic growth. SRH University Heidelberg established its Founder Institute in 2010, which encourages entrepreneurship through the three educational facets of teaching, mentoring and networking. In addition to industrial and service companies, as well as innovative, exciting startups from various fields, numerous sports and education institutions are also partners of SRH University Heidelberg – including cricket, rugby and handball teams.
From even before the admissions process, to after graduation, SRH University Heidelberg and its CORE Principle has helped students from around the world to realise their full potential. With the university’s dynamic open-minded approach and its focus on cutting-edge applied skills, combined with Heidelberg’s outstanding position as a growing, innovative business environment, it is no surprise that students find SRH University Heidelberg to be an educational home and a professional launch pad.