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Institute of Hydraulic Engineering


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Project manager:Dr.-Ing. Maren Paul
Deputy:Prof. Dr.-Ing. Rainer Helmig
Duration:1.4.2004 - 30.11.2007
Project Partners:Universität Ulm
Universität Karlsruhe
Comments:Link zu den Projektseiten
Publications: Link


Many German universities offer Master study programs in English for students from all over the world. Although the students all technically fulfill the same prerequisites, for example holding a Bachelor's degree, still the problem exists that the students have largely varying background knowledge in each subject.

The lecturer then face the problem that additionally to the intended topics of the course also the basics have to be taught in order to bring all students on the same level.
Another problem of these Master programs are cases, where although the student was carefully selected for the program he may not be able to follow the lectures and in the end has to be send back home without a degree.

In order to solve these problems the three universities in Stuttgart, Ulm, and Karlsruhe have joined in the project SULKA. Their goal is to develop an enhanced selection procedure for national and foreign students of international Master programs.

The project SULKA has two supporting pillars:

In the following, both parts are explained in more detail.

The goal of the exam in the candidate's own country can be divided into two aspects.

- For the applicant:

  • Necessity to closely look into the actual contents of the aspired study program.
  • Realistic self assessment of the own knowledge.

- For the admission committee:

  • Obtaining a comparable criterium for all applicants.
  • Ensuring a defined knowledge level and with this reducing the "social problem" to send students home without a degree.
  • Only serious and qualified applications will be sent in: Reduction of the work load to process the applications.

When offering an exam in the candidate's own country, the span between the two extrema "paper-based exam with supervision" and "computer-based test without supervision" exists. Here, SULKA will realize the following approaches:

  • Where existing structures like partner universities or German exams can be used, a computer-based test with supervision is aspired.
  • Where this cannot be realized, a computer-based test without supervision is carried out based on the honour principle.

In order to give the applicants the possibility to look into the contents of the study program and to prepare for the exam, SULKA prepares learning material in its second part.

The preparation material used by all thre universities cover the following fields:


Here, each of the participating universities (Stuttgart, Ulm, Karlsruhe) prepares only one field so that synergy effects can be used. Furthermore, it becomes transparent that all three universities agreed on the same high level of basic knowledge.
The preparation material gives clear information about the required performance level and should enable the applicants to prepare in self-study for the exam in their own country. The material will be provided via the Internet. The contents will be divided in modules so that a further use of these materials by other universities, study programs or lecturers will be possible.

It should be emphasized that these learning materials are not a "distance learning course for free". It is assumed that the applicants already obtained a (Bachelor) degree in a study program which is related to the aspired Master program so that the provided SULKA material is rather a support to prepare for the studies in Germany: the actual topics and contents are listed, in some cases explained in more detail, and "typical German" questions are provided.

Contact in Stuttgart: Dr. Maren Paul
Contact in Ulm: Prof. Hermann Schumacher
Contact in Karlsruhe: Dr. Uta Brückner-Nieder


30.06.2005 Discussion meeting in Stuttgart with participants from Aachen, Bonn, Darmstadt, Dresden, Hamburg, Hannover, Karlsruhe, München, Stuttgart, Ulm