Knowledge near at hand
Here Hanns-Dieter Hüsch is mistaken. The cabaret artist from the Lower Rhine once claimed his fellow countrymen didn’t know anything but could explain everything. The people from the Lower Rhine do know something, but to make sure they can always join in the conversation, they like to work with those who are producing knowledge: with the researchers at RWTH Aachen University, the universities in Cologne, Düsseldorf and Duisberg-Essen, the research institute in Jülich and even the Dutch universities in Maastricht, Eindhoven, Nijmegen and Wageningen. Entrepreneurs in the Lower Rhine region never have to go far to commission or use excellent research. They often do, as the global demand for their products shows.
Yet the people between the Rhine and the Maas are not without their own resources either. For forty years now they have had the Lower Rhine University, which is one of the five biggest universities of applied sciences in Germany and has 10,300 students. It is internationally renowned, especially its textiles and clothing faculty. With innovative and international study programs, it has developed into the most popular university in North-Rhine Westphalia (capacity utilization 137 percent). In the ten faculties, chemistry, design, electrical engineering and IT, mechanical and process engineering, industrial engineering, health care (all at Krefeld), oecotrophology, social science, textiles and clothing technology, and business science (all Mönchengladbach), it offers more than 40 study programs, of which chemistry, mechanical and process engineering, industrial engineering, health care, textiles and clothing technology as well as tourism, catering and hospitality services are currently experiencing the most growth. There are also some European study programs. International degrees are possible for 19 Bachelor and 15 Master programs.
At the Lower Rhine University there are eight research institutes and four competence centers. The research institute for textiles and clothing is the recognized key research field of the state of North-Rhine Westphalia. It is complemented by the German Textiles Research Center North-West (DTNW) in Krefeld (as institute of the University of Duisburg-Essen) and the wfk-Cleaning Technology Research Institute in Krefeld as institute of the Lower Rhine University. The research institutes are also regularly honored for their work with the Research and Innovation Prize, which is awarded every three years by the Central Lower Rhine Chambers of Commerce (IHK Mittlerer Niederrhein).
The Rhine-Waal University of Applied Sciences opens its doors for the 2009 winter semester at its main site in Kleve and its second site at Kamp-Lintfort. Both campuses and their faculties Technology and Bionics, Life Sciences, Society and Economics and Communication and Environment offer the full range of study programs. The new student places were mostly created in the so-called MINT subjects (Mathematics, IT, Natural Sciences, Technology) and are offered as dual study programs, which offer a combination of theoretical study and vocational training. To start there are two subjects offered in English: “Bio Science and Health” and “International Business and Social Sciences”.
The University of Applied Sciences (FOM) also has a campus in the Lower Rhine region, in Neuss. It offers students and those already working the chance to complete a course of study while continuing to work, with lectures only held at the weekend or in the evenings, that leads to six Bachelor and seven Master degrees. The university was founded by employers and business associations in 1991, is officially recognized by the State of North-Rhine Westphalia and is accredited by Federal Council of Science.
The Lower Rhine region also has a wide network of vocational schools for young people. The vocational training is largely carried out by the Chambers of Industry and Commerce and the Chambers of Trades and Crafts. The agricultural sector has a school for training master craftsmen in Kleve and a Deula Training Center in Kempen; at the Straelen Horticultural Center, training is combined with intensive experimentation programs in greenhouses (currently: use of fertilizers, energy savings). The WestLb Academy at Krickenbeck Castle in Nettetal offers training for the top management echelons of the business world.
What did Hüsch say again? He certainly can’t have meant it seriously.