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How good is FH Aachen?

  1. Jan 7, 2016 #1
    Hello,
    I was wondering how good is the engineering program(mechanical) in FH Aachen compared to other universities?
    In general, what is the cost of living in Aachen?
    Knowing that all courses in that major are in German, how hard is it to learn the language not just for being able to live there but also be able to understand in class?
    Thank you.
     
  2. jcsd
  3. Jan 7, 2016 #2
    Costs of living in Aachen should be okay for German standard. First random hit I found on living expenses in Germany puts it in the lower mid-range among German university cities, which would have been my gut feeling, too.

    Be careful that it is not a university by German definition, but a "Fachhochschule" (FH). The differences between FHs and universities are becoming smaller, but they still exist. Roughly speaking, FHs are more applied and train people for the job market, while universities train people for science. I would say the main differences are:
    - FHs have a reputation of being "easier".
    - FHs are often considered to have better teaching. Professors employed there are employed explicitly for teaching (with twice as many teaching hours as their university counterparts). University professors have the reputation of considering themselves researchers first (and the main criterion for selection actually is their quality as a scientist).
    - FHs are not allowed to awards doctorate titles.
    - In German public service the salary class for FH graduates is lower than for university graduates. I think that also holds true for average salaries on the free market.
     
  4. Jan 7, 2016 #3

    fresh_42

    Staff: Mentor

    Would be interesting to know since I'm thinking quite the opposite. FH graduates are usually far more trained to actual (engineering) tasks. It's far easier to them to start right from the spot whereas university graduates have to be "adjusted" to real life which is expensive in time and money.
     
  5. Jan 7, 2016 #4
    First of all,Thank you for your response.
    I am aware that FHs are not universities in the general sense. However, I would like to know that if I got a degree from there, will I be able to apply to a masters degree in mechanical engineering in other universities in German and abroad(TUM in Germany, or prestigious universities in the US)? Or the FH programs do not qualify me to do so since they are not exactly universities?
     
  6. Jan 7, 2016 #5
    Technically, German law defines the degrees awarded by FHs as equivalent to those of universities (which makes it particularly hilarious that the state still has regulations to pay its employees with these degrees a lower salary ...). A B.Sc allows to apply for a master's program at a university, and in fact a master's also allows to do a PhD (just not at an FH, since they don't award them). The chances of actually being accepted are a different matter.

    I am not sure what to make about your question about "TUM in Germany, or prestigious universities in the US". You haven't really mentioned why you are interested in the FH Aachen. So my generic statement here would be: (EDIT: Potentially more helpful formulation:) FHs prepare for the job market. Not for further educations at other universities.
     
  7. Jan 7, 2016 #6
    It was to my understanding that FH Aachen was a decent college for engineering programs in Germany with not so high standards (I am interested in studying mechanical engineering in Germany and FH Aachen seemed like a good option). What alternative university/college do you recommend with similar qualities (no tuition fees/good program/flexible standards) if Aachen is not such a good option?
     
  8. Jan 7, 2016 #7
    I don't know specifically about the FH Aachen. In fact, I never heard of it before. But I am a natural scientist. This means that 1) I am not an engineer and 2) I live in the university world and know only few FH graduates. So me not knowing a particular school for applied engineering may not say much. You cannot really say that Aachen wasn't good for engineering. Quite the contrary: The university of Aachen (RWTH Aachen) is usually considered one of the best universities for engineering in Germany. Other "big names" in engineering are the KIT Karlsruhe, the TU Munich, the TU Darmstadt and the TU Dresden.

    However, "engineering" is very generic. Things may look different in "mechanical engineering" and even more different in specialized fields. If some unknown university of FH offers a speciality that you already know you are interested in, then don't discard it because it is a "no name" institution. Of course that would require to already know what you are interested in. Also, depending on your interests other factors may play a role. Costs of living, an enjoyable city, location (mountains, sea, dontcare), local research institutes, local companies, ... .
     
  9. Jan 7, 2016 #8
    I imagine to usually hear that FH graduates tend to get less. First random Google hit semi-confirms this (with the difference being insignificant in my opinion): See http://www.ingenieurwesen-studieren.de/wp-content/uploads/basic/einstiegsgehalt-ingenieur.png for an image of starting salaries for engineers in Euros/year ("FH-Abschluss" and "Uni-Abschluss" should be obvious, "Berufsakademie" is a dual training on-the-job and at an FH, "Promotion" is people with PhDs). The three bars are presumably lower 25%, mid 50% and top 25% of salaries.
     
  10. Jan 7, 2016 #9

    fresh_42

    Staff: Mentor

    I find that only the difference to promotion is significant. With that you usually get other jobs than without. A real study would have to consider many parameters in order to achieve reliable numbers. But maybe you're right: life is hard but unjust.
     
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