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Dual training system

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Industry relations ― the dual-training system

 

Prof. Károly Belina, CSc, PhD, Department of Materials Technology of the Faculty of Mechanical Engineering and Computer Science (GAMF)

When were dual trainings launched at Kecskemét College, and why?

We began to devise this type of training in 2010 with the participation of Mercedes-Benz Manufacturing Hungary Kft. and Knorr-Bremse Fékrendszerek Kft. Our aim was to bolster the quality of the training and to ensure a continuous supply of engineers for these companies. Originally, we were contacted by Mercedes-Benz: the company management already had a good impression about the dual-training system, as most of them had pursued such studies in Germany. Our dual trainings were launched in September 2012.

At which Faculty was the dual training form first offered, and which Faculties are involved in it now?

The dual training form was first introduced at the Faculty of Mechanical Engineering and Computer Science (GAMF). Currently, there are dual trainings on offer at every Faculty, with the exception of the Teacher Training Faculty. However, the Faculty of Mechanical Engineering and Computer Science (GAMF) continues to have the highest number of students enrolled in this type of training.

Where does this form of training come from?

It is based on a German model, which was applied by the Duale Hochschule Baden-Württemberg, with 12-week cycles per semester. It was this system that we adapted to a Hungarian context. Our training regime is based on a 13+8+13+16-week schedule.

What are the main aims of the dual-training system?

Our fundamental objective is to enhance students’ expertise, and to achieve this primarily through practice. During the programme, students learn to apply their theoretical knowledge while working at the companies. Moreover, so-called soft skills are developed during the in-company training periods. By the time of their graduation, our beginner engineers already possess some work experience within the industry.


Eszter Kókai, PhD, Research Fellow, Department of Materials Technology of the Faculty of Mechanical Engineering and Computer Science (GAMF)

In your opinion, what are the chief merits of the dual-training system?

Dual students begin gaining work experience right from the start of their university studies, so they get an insight into the corporate culture and project-based approach early on. Having finished their studies, they attend company meetings with self-confidence, and they take responsibility for their work. These are all success factors for our dual students, compared with students graduating from traditional study programmes.

Do you expect any changes or innovations in this type of training to take place?

In the future, we would like to hold trainings where mentors working with our dual students at the companies would also receive pedagogical guidance — “trainings for trainers”. There have been such attempts before, and now we plan to try it again.

 

Zoltán Nagy, PhD, managing director, honorary college professor at GAMF

Dual training programme

Based on the German example, and in partnership with two leading automotive companies, the GAMF Faculty launched a dual-training programme in 2012 within the vehicle engineering study programme, and has since then used this approach to train its students. The “Kecskemét model” has proved to be exemplary, and the Faculty’s experiences can point to the advantages of introducing this type of training at the national level.

“Our company, Phoenix Mecano Kecskemét Kft., has maintained a close cooperation with the GAMF Faculty of John von Neumann University. We joined the dual higher education programmes in 2013, and currently we take part in the practical training of students attending study programmes for information engineering, logistics engineering, mechanical engineering, and business and management. The introduction of the dual training is paramount, as it offers a possible solution in terms of harmonising higher education and the demands of the job market, while enabling young graduates to embark upon a successful career.

“One of the advantages of dual higher education is that students acquire professional experience in the field and, at the same time, get an opportunity to use their theoretical knowledge in a corporate environment. Thanks to this training system, young graduates can enter the world of work immediately. The dual training also allows students to obtain during their years of study the social skills that industry now requires — namely, leadership skills, communicative skills, project management skills and so on — which otherwise would not be possible in the framework of higher education.”

 

Alexandra Kádár, Faculty of Economics and Business, dual student in Business Administration and Management

“In light of the current labour-market situation, everyone should be aware of the importance of having appropriate practical skills and competencies right after graduation. This is exactly what dual-training programmes can offer. Over the semesters, we also become acquainted with corporate culture, which will make it easier for us to find a job in the future. We know what to expect from a company, and just as importantly, it is also an excellent opportunity for networking. During our university lectures we acquire the foundations, and at the end of the semester, during our traineeship, our knowledge ‘goes live’, which is important because that will enable us to identify and solve problems in real-life situations. All of this taken together helps us to develop our skills and competencies.”

 

Nikoletta Végh, dual student in technical management, now training at STI Petőfi Nyomda Kft.

“Students attending a dual-training programme begin their career with a huge advantage compared to other young graduates because they already have 3.5 years of professional experience. Dual-training graduates with this kind of work experience can therefore start work higher up on the corporate ladder and with salaries above those of entry-level employees.”

 

Zsófia Ragány, dual student in logistics engineering, now training at HILTI Szerszám Kft.

“What I like about the dual training is that I am treated like a colleague at the company, which boosts my self-confidence. There are plenty of inspiring challenges and opportunities to develop, and I learn about responsibility.”

 

Levente Potz, dual student in IT engineering, now training at Mercedes-Benz Hungary Kft.

“Being trained at a multinational company like Mercedes-Benz is an enormous opportunity. As a big company, it offers numerous possibilities, which make this training extraordinary. At Mercedes-Benz I learn to work with a team and to take responsibility for my work. This practical training prepares me for real life in the world of employment.”

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