Erasmus+ Staff Mobility training at the University of Applied Sciences Zwickau

My Erasmus+ Staff Mobility training programme took place at the University of Applied Sciences Zwickau from 11th to 16th June in the town of Zwickau, Germany.

Zwickau is well-known as the birthplace of the renowned composer Robert Schumann, and home of the famous automobiles Horch, Audi and Trabant. Today, the popular Volkswagen car models Golf and Passat are manufactured here.

The Westsächsische Hochschule Zwickau – University of Applied Sciences Zwickau is a university devoted to Technology, Economics, Arts, and Life Sciences, comprising of 8 faculties and around 50 different degree programmes.

Zwickau university is not relatively big. However, it has good global partnerships both to other universities such as in China, America and Kyrgyzstan, and to national and multinational companies, like Volkswagen and Audi, giving students the chance to gain some great experience, equipping them for life after university.

I was impressed by the friendliness, hard-work, cooperation spirit and strict early-morning working hours.

It was not the first time I visited Zwickau. However, something new and exciting appears each time making my week there an extremely productive and enjoyable experience.

Lectures start at 7:30 in the morning and students are attending with no miss. Lunch times are friendly and socially and the centre of the town an enjoyment to explore and walk.

The second day of my visit a workshop was organised where master-level students attended and some representatives from local SMEs that specialised in the subject.

The depth of technical expertise was impressive and the students’ ability to participate in lively and extremely hard technical discussions was remarkable. Areas of work such as Executable UML, Domain Specific Languages, Ecore/EMF and advanced modelling practices were presented and live demonstrations of performing these tasks by experienced/students and industrial representatives were included.

It was noted that the development abilities and skills of the students were advanced, and they presented resilience in copying with difficult problems. 

More importantly, team work and collaboration were encouraged and presented through presentations of team projects. A robotic application was the theme of one project and the students had to report on their collaborative experience. Interesting and very important multi-cultural collaboration was part of the setting as some students were from a collaborating with Zwickau university in Kyrgyzstan, Middle Asia. Their technical abilities were equally remarkable from both countries and the language/cultural barriers were overcome.

This was an interesting example to follow for enriching multi-cultural collaborations making our students resilient to the environments of the future.

Organised visits to car museums which surround Zwickau was part of my previous trip.

In this trip, I was fortunate to be welcome and experience local life through walking in the centre of the town where always something was happening and with a very fortunate summer weather.

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