Winter is coming. Oh no, this has nothing to do with the Starks of Winterfell.
It is that time of the year when tens of thousands of students are investing time, effort and money for GRE, TOEFL, IELTS, Language classes, University applications, Courier services and lots more. Or probably they are in the process of planning (thinking) these and wondering if they should invest. Like the year before. And the year before that. And the several years gone by in the past decades.
And among them are a few hundreds who maybe interested in studying at Germany, a subset of which likely has their eyes set on Esslingen. As a former student of the Hochschule Esslingen University of Applied Sciences, I intend to offer a glimpse into what you are getting into. If your aspirations are sincere, you might as well be patient and invest a few minutes here.
For those of who who started reading this without concrete information about the English-taught study programs at Hochschule Esslingen, I recommend doing so before reading on further. This is a favor for your own self.
I shall primarily focus on the M.Eng courses as the specific information I can offer about the MBA course is limited. Also, in this part, I shall focus on the background of the admission process at Hochschule Esslingen as it is unique and worth knowing for a prospective applicant.
What are the chances of admission?
Every applicant fires away his/her first question faster than an arrow leaving an archer’s bow. Almost always, it is ‘What are my chances of admission into Esslingen?’. I would recommend you ask this to the fictional Sheldon Cooper of The Big Bang Theory or someone else proficient with probability. In my own words, the answer is ‘It is difficult to answer’. Read on to know why.
In the last years, Esslingen has received around 1000 or more applications for both the M.Eng programs – Automotive Systems (ASM) & Design and Development for Mechanical and Automotive Engineering (DDM), from which a group of 30 to 35 students are offered admission.
The uniqueness of the Esslingen Graduate School study programs however is that the selection strives to ensure International Diversity i.e. students from 15-20 different countries in a single program. It follows then that the admits from a single country are limited to be not more than an approximate 20-25% of the class group and India is among the first to fall into this filter. So, in a class of say 30, the number of admits from a single country is then say 6-8. For ease, let’s round it up to 10.
The challenge for Indian applicants
Now, applications from India sometimes go as high as 70% of the total. However, to achieve the aforementioned International class group, the admits from India have to be limited and hence around 10 out of a few hundreds are to be selected.
India does not follow a nationally aligned scoring system. Some universities follow a % based scoring, many a CGPA-based. The conversion between the two is at times defined differently by the universities. And it is quite impossible to achieve one national grading system. Thus, anyone can be easily misled by a 9+ from a not-so stringent system as against a 8+ from a relatively rigorous curriculum. That curricula themselves change periodically is added complexity. All this means that CGPA scores are not being equivalent and directly comparable for every applicant.
The Graduate School M.Eng programs do not use GRE scores as an admission criterion. TOEFL/IELTS is also waived for Indian students considering their English proficiency. So the primary quantitative criterion that can offer objective evidence of an applicant is the CGPA. Do I really have to fill in the blanks? Higher CGPA (9 or more) means better chances (still no guarantee of an admit). If lower, even an applicant with an otherwise really awesome profile might be unable to sway the panel in his/her favour.
The other part is, even if an applicant has a CGPA of 9 and a spectacular profile, if hundreds of applicants have equivalent backgrounds, the applicant is likely to not get an offer of admission. So, the process is relative in nature. (Tracking down the other few hundred competitive applicants with the aid of Intelligence Agencies to increase one’s own chances is an idea I WILL not recommend).
Place yourself in the shoes of the admission panel (not literally) and give the above reading a moment of silent thought. It is a logical line of thought and cannot be refuted.
Thus the end result, as I mentioned at the beginning of the section, is that ‘It is very difficult to assess one’s chances of admission into Hochschule Esslingen’. One can only apply and hope for the best. Apologies if that was disheartening but that’s just a glimpse into the reality.
This seemingly rigorous process leads to forming international friendships that cut across borders. Today, I have friends from Germany, France, South Korea, China, Taiwan, Russia, Italy, Mexico and many more countries. An individual’s mind can begin a transformational journey into becoming a global citizen with friends and neighbors from near and far.
There are a few Universities in Germany where the class groups can comprise of even 90% of Indians. It is unfair to rule this out as something not preferred. Everything has its pros and cons.
As Anakin Skywalker is told by his mother in Star Wars, ‘This path has been placed before you. The choice is yours alone’
Read more about pursuing a Masters at Hochschule Esslingen (and in Germany in general) in the following parts.