The Gera-Eisenach Cooperative State University (DHGE) is a state university in the Free State of Thuringia that specializes in dual, practice-integrating courses of study and emerged from the Thuringian vocational academies in Gera and Eisenach. In cooperation with over 1,600 companies and institutions, the DHGE offers a large number of accredited Bachelor’s degree programmes in the fields of economics, technology and social affairs at its two locations.
Dual studies in Thuringia
The DHGE also offers part-time master’s courses in cooperation with the Schmalkalden University of Applied Sciences. To date, more than 6000 graduates have successfully completed their studies as engineers, business economists, computer scientists or social pedagogues. As a rule, around 90 percent of graduates are offered permanent employment immediately after graduation, most of them with their respective practical partners. The specific profile of the DHGE is, on the one hand, its dual study concept with alternating theoretical and practical phases and, on the other hand, the close cooperation between the university and its partner companies and institutions. They select the students themselves, sign a three-year contract with them and offer them a monthly, ongoing salary for the entire duration of their studies. By alternating between three-month theoretical and practical phases, students acquire not only specialist and methodological knowledge, but also practical experience and the skills required in everyday working life. The contents of the theoretical and practical phases are interlinked. Specialized professors and lecturers with practical experience include current developments in business, technology and society in their teaching.
The DHGE as part of the DBCP project
The target group of the DBCP research project was primarily SMEs from Thuringia. As a consortium member, DHGE was able to supply a large number of companies for the surveys thanks to its dual study model. By cooperating with their respective students, these companies provided essential primary data in the form of use cases and conceivable application scenarios, but also reasons for dislike and reservations.
A selection of students write papers on the application of the DBCP in connection with (possible) use cases, whereby piloting in connection with the companies is possible on a case-by-case basis.