Off-Site Department for the Automotive industry

Vitesco is establishing an off-site department at the University of Debrecen. Based on the agreement signed on Thursday, the German company that manufactures and develops drive chains will be involved in the new electrical engineering master’s course of the Faculty of Engineering and in the mechatronics engineering programme.

The purpose of the agreement on the establishment of an automotive mechatronics off-site department and on educational cooperation made on Thursday between UD and the company at the Sándor Karácsony room of the university is to strengthen the connection between theory and business life, and to ensure the education of professionals in line with the complex technological requirements.

- The cooperation between the University of Debrecen and Vitesco is exemplary; it started when the foundation stone of the factory was laid. We wish to make sure that our students obtain practical experience, in addition to theoretical knowledge during their university years. The ideal place for this is a company where they have to deal with real-life problems – said the vice rector for technological innovation and educational development of UD at the signing ceremony of the agreement on the establishment of the Off-Site Automotive Mechatronics Department on Thursday. 

Vice rector Piroska Ailer pointed out that UD and the company had discussed shared goals and the requirements of Vitesco in the previous years, which the university sought to transfer into education. As a result, students have been offered apprentice positions and thesis topics, and Vitesco became part of a dual education programme.

Réka Makray, head and HR manager of Vitesco said that the agreement strengthened the cooperation between the company and UD. She added that when the legal predecessor of the company had looked for a location, it had been an important factor to have educational background. The company has operated in Debrecen since  2019. The number of employees is currently 520. In the same year, they signed a strategic agreement with UD that established the key points of cooperation.
- Within the framework of our apprenticeship programme launched in 2020, currently we have 20 apprentices. We are glad that almost 80 percent of our apprentices have joined the company. With our educational and professional background, we support post gradual education in polymer technology, and in 2020 we launched the automotive mechatronics and mount technology specialisation, where five to six students can study every semester – explained Réka Makray, who also mentioned that in cooperation with the Department of Mechatronics of the Faculty of Engineering they would prepare the electrical engineering master’s programme to be launched next February.
The production manager and head of the off-site department highlighted that the automotive industry has turned to hybrid and electric cars, which brings new challenges. These challenges can be managed only with agile professionals equipped with up-to-date knowledge.

- This cooperation allows us to train young talents who want to learn in an environment with cutting-edge technology, which allows them to get an insight into the automotive industry. This means that students of the department will start their career with a great advantage and can capitalise on their knowledge anywhere, even as employees of Vitesco – said József Nyéki.

The dean of the Faculty of Engineering of UD highlighted that owing to the new off-site department and this cooperation all courses of the faculty related to the automotive industry (automotive engineering, mechanical engineering, electrical engineering, mechatronics engineering, technical manager) will enjoy significant educational support. Géza Husi pointed out that this was the first time in the history of the faculty that a company had established an off-site department before the launch of a related new degree programme.

- The Faculty of Engineering seeks to provide students with knowledge and launch degree programmes and specializations that are in line with industrial trends and meet the demands of the region and Hungary. The automotive sector in Debrecen will focus on the development of electric cars in the near future, which will certainly be well supported by the education of electrical engineers and the training carried out at the new off-site department – added dean Géza Husi.
 The electrical engineering master’s programme will be launched at the Faculty of Engineering of UD in September 2023. Interested young people can submit their applications within the framework of the cross semester procedure by 15 November.

Press Centre - OCS