The DCG's history

Since the year 2000, the DCG Halle e.V. – International Institute (here referred to as “DCG”) works for a better understanding among nations by fostering and organizing educational projects.

The beginnings of the DCG trace back until the year 1998 when two of the later foundation members had a business trip to Changchun, the provincial capital of Jilin, in the North of China to meet their later partners first time in China. During the trip they met with the mayor of Changchun, at this time a city of 4.5 million people, had a friendly welcome at the TV Channel Changchun TV, met with the Deputy Manager for Economy of the province Jilin, as well as the general manager of the special economic zone and the president of the police college of Jilin.

During these different meetings the Chinese hosts expressed their wish to intensify the cooperation with Germany. Especially the need for professional Chinese experts with international accepted degrees was expressed to fulfill the requirements of the Chinese and international companies.

Back in Germany they researched the topic and concluded that interested foreign parties must always face high barriers when organizing professional training in Germany from abroad.

The high demand for professional training from China and the interest on the German side led to the decision to offer interested Chinese students and trainees a special service that includes everything necessary for an apprenticeship in Germany.

As the fostering of understanding among nations and the education of young people reflects a non-profit purpose, the initiators came to the conclusion that a non-profit association, in German language called “eingetragener Verein (e.V.)”, would be the best organizational form. As a result the“Deutsch-Chinesische Gesellschaft Halle e.V.” was founded in November 1999 in the city of Halle (Saale) with the aim to foster the training of young people in common education projects between Germany and China.

A critical success factor was to find the right partner association in China that had the relevant governmental approvals and licenses to organize in China trainings abroad. The DCG found this partner in Beijing and is, since then, still working with him in a trustful relationship.

Thanks to the good cooperation the DCG already had 100 Chinese study applicants in the first year (2000). On behalf of the Chinese partner the DCG organized German intensive language trainings as preparation for the “Deutsche Sprachprüfung für den Hochschulzugang (DSH)” for all participants. In the second year (2001) the number of language students who were sent by the Chinese partner already doubled. The DCG then distributed them to facilities in Halle, Leipzig, Dresden, Brandenburg and Hanover.

Short time later, besides the language trainings, the DCG organized professional trainings in wholesale and foreign trade for another 100 participants with training centers from the German Chamber of Commerce and Industries.

In the beginning of the association’s activities language students and trainees were mostly individual applicants who have been sent to Germany by the Chinese partner after their relevant preparation courses. Soon, the DCG and its partner realized the need to develop and realize more sustainable projects in the Higher Education sector.

In the mid of 2000 the president of the DCG was invited from the former principal of the University of Applied Science Merseburg and todays’ Minister of Education  of the Federal Republic of Germany, Mrs. Prof. Dr. Wanka, to talk about partnership programs with China for the internationalization of university cooperation. As one result the DCG supported the foundation of a University associated institute – the “Institut für internationale Bildungskooperation an der Hochschule Merseburg e.V. (IBK)“.

Together with the Chinese partner both associations, the DCG and the IBK, organized the first double degree program with three Bachelor programs which started in the winter semester of 2004/2005. Since then more than 1,000 program students took part to receive in the end a German and Chinese Bachelor double degree.

In 2008 the DCG started a training program in Beijing together with the Chamber of Crafts (so called in German "Handwerkskammer"). The program included a two to three year professional training in which trainees gain a German certificates as automobile service technician when they successfully pass their examination. Since the start of the program more than 400 trainees have absolved the program and gained their certificates.

In 2010 the first English-speaking Master courses were commonly developed with a Chinese partner university. Since then more than 200 students have successfully received a German Master Degree.

While the DCG mainly focused on supporting German-Chinese educational projects in the beginning, it increasingly spread contacts to other countries in Asia like Vietnam, Thailand, India and Pakistan, or to countries in East-Europe like Russia, Ukraine and Georgia as well as to South America and Africa after some years. The number of new contacts ultimately led to the decision of the association members to widen the focus of activities to a more international level. The general meeting of the members in 2010 therefore came to the decision to re-name the association to “DCG Halle e.V. – International Institute-“.

Although the major focus of the association’s activities is still in China, the DCG more and more concentrated its efforts on the development of educational projects in Africa, especially in Ghana. Based on the projects in Ghana, the DCG plans to contribute to neighbor countries in Africa to empower young people to take an active part and to co-create the development of their countries. The DCG’s experience in China of developing and supporting educational projects represents a good prerequisite to successfully operate the new projects. 

Therefore, with the start of the winter semester 2013/ 2014 it was the first time that a German Master degree could be obtained in Ghana. Through this it was possible to reach young people who not have the financial background to study abroad in Europe, especially in Germany. For example, although the studying is free or requires only a small tuition fee in Germany, foreign students need to proof their financial capabilities to the government. Currently, this number is more than EURO 8,000 per study year if they would like to study in Germany. Since the beginning of this program already 40 students used this chance to get a German Master Degree in Ghana.

Besides the educational projects that have direct impact upon the students and trainees, the DCG also developed projects with indirect impact upon the education level in Ghana. In 2011 DCG initiated a School Milk Program that was also supported by the Ghana Education Service, an authority in the Ministry of Education. The basic idea was social transfer, means that the profits out of the program should be use to fund educational projects in Ghana. Unfortunately, the project has been stopped due to the still lasting decline in the Ghanaian currency. However, the DCG still plans for the immediate future to start new projects for the development of a rural area in the Asante region nearby their provincial capital Kumasi.