Varun Poonekar: “Dual continuing education has helped me to considerably broaden my horizon”

He learned about the programme from an article in the “Times of India”, India’s largest newspaper. At this time, Varun Poonekar had already completed his engineering studies and was working for an Indian business. “I was specifically looking for a programme of continued education”, he says. “And I wanted it to have a connection with Germany.” Two months later, he was ready to start.

All those interested in the dual continuing education have to undergo a selection process first. This consists of a written exam, a group discussion and finally an interview with representatives of the company which the applicant has chosen for his or her internship. Each participant has to pay around 3,500 Euro for the programme. “But paying fees for one’s own education is quite usual in India”, says Judith Evers of the Indo-German Chamber of Commerce in Mumbai. The companies providing the internship places cover the remaining costs for the programme.

The investment is worthwhile for both parties involved: “It has been a real success story”, says Radhieka R. Mehta, the director of IGTC. “Since the programme’s launch in 1991, we have trained around 1,500 graduates. This makes us the number one platform for German businesses searching for qualified employees in India.” The programme’s alumni score points for the practical experience they have gathered during the continued education. “The quality of Indian university education is very high”, says Judith Evers. “But the practical aspect is often missing”, Varun Poonekar adds. “It was only during the practical part of the continued education programme that I learned how a business works and what the requirements of the industrial sector are.”