Islamic Voice
Jamadi Ul Akhir 1422
September 2001
Volume 15-09 No:177

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CAREERS AND OPPORTUNITIES


Higher Education in German Universities
Halal Inc.

Higher Education in German Universities

Several universities in Europe are offering technical courses in English medium. These countries are welfare states and one could raise funds by having a part-time job.

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Mahmood Jamil, is currently doing his Master’s degree in Information and Communcations Systems at Technical University of Hamburg, Germany. He spoke to Islamic Voice regarding opportunities for free higher studies in Germany, Finland, Sweden and Denmark. Many prestigious universities of these countries have started to offer degrees in English medium of instruction. No tution fee is charged for these degree courses. In his words this is the best opportunity for students, specially belonging to the middle class families, who do not have enough resources to pursue further studies in the US or the UK. Students are also allowed to work part-time on or off the campus and can easily manage their living expenses.

Q: Why no tuition fee is charged in German universities?
A: Almost all European countries are welfare states where education is free. Secondly, in the context of globalisation, European countries are trying to explore new markets. They spend good amount of money on foreign students so that they can care for their business interests after going back to their countries of origin.

Q: Are there any hidden costs?
A: One has to pay only DM 150 (Rs. 4000) for each semester as social security funds.

Q: What are the living expenses per month approximately?
A: Approx. living expenses are DM 900 per month. It also includes health insurance and accommodation.

Q: What are admission requirements?
A: The PUC or Higher Secondary pass students are not admitted. This is because duration of college education in Europe is 13 years and our college education is 12 years. So the Indian students must apply only after finishing their graduation. For a Masters degree in engineering one needs a BE in related field or in some cases candidates with MSc in related fields can also secure admissions. But till now, no university is offering courses in Medicine.

Q: What the are requirements for MBA?
A: One needs MA/MSc in related fields e.g., Management or Economics or in some cases Engineers can also be admitted.

Q: Are there any scholarships available?
A: Only a few scholarships are available but only at Ph.D level. Inquiries can be made at: http://www.daad.de/info-f-a/en/foerderung/stipendien/index.html

Q: How can one apply for a visa?
A: First, one needs an admission letter from a university. 2.All other documents required can be asked from the embassy concerned. 3. Next important thing is financial statement. Visa officer should be satisfied that you have enough funds available to meet your living expenses in his country. 4. Replies such as ‘I am going to meet my expenses by part-time job’ are likely to result in visa denial. 5. Always tell them that you’re coming back home after completing your studies.

Q: How to make a financial statement?
A: A bank manager can make a statement where you or your father is running a healthy account Or, you can ask any relative living in the West or the Gulf to write a sponsorship letter that he will support you during your study period. An Income Tax statement from him along with his Sponsorship letter will serve the purpose. It will be much better if he let this letter signed by a Solicitor /Notary public.

Q: Is the visa issued easily?
A: It varies from case to case. But face the interview with confidence. Give him solid reasons why you have decided for further studies in his country.

Q: How much initial money does one need?
A: One should bring approx. DM 5000 initially. With this amount one can survive first six months. This time is enough to settle down.

Q: What sort of jobs students can expect?
A: Students who have good programming knowledge e.g., C, C++, java or web programming need not worry about getting a job. Though other students too can get a reasonable part-time job, but they should be ready to having a job as dish washer, as a hawker or as... !!! Before coming to Europe, please first think whether you are ready to face such tough situations. Sometimes one needs to work as a real mazdoor (worker).

Q: Is TOEFL absolutely required for admission?
A: It is better to have TOEFL because competition is building up as more and more students are applying to these universities. However there are chances to get admission without it.

Q: What about Ranking of these Universities?
A: It is not like the USA where Education is a Business. In Europe all universities are funded by the state and almost have equal standard. Government has only allowed the best universities to start education in English. So there is no doubt about their standard. For example, the Technical University of Hamburg (with only 3,000 students) has an annual research budget of 100 million DM.

Q: What about standard of education in these countries?
A: Just to remind you, Germany is the homeland of industrial giants like Siemens, AEG, BMW, Mercedes, Bayer, Beiersdorf, BASF and SAP (the second largest software house in the world). According to standard of living, Germany is third in the world. Finland is a country with population less than Bangalore (about 5 million) but has more universities than in Pakistan. Nokia, the world’s largest company in mobile communication belongs to Finland. Another great company, Ericsson belongs to Sweden. Without quality of education they would not have been able to build such technological empires. They have no natural resources like oil, gas or gold. They have knowledge and they cash upon it. More information can be obtained from the site: (http://www.tu-harburg.de/~semj0108)
List of universities and the courses offered. http://www.tu-harburg.de/~semj0108/tuitionf.html
Mahmood Jamil App. 642 B Ebelingstr.1 21073 Hamburg Germany, Tel. (0049-40)76757567

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Halal Inc.

A group of entrepreneurs in Mumbai has introduced soaps, toothpastes and shampoos based on Halal ingredients.

M. H Lakdawala in Mumbai

In India Muslims never had any difficulty in finding Halal (Permitted) food products for their consumption unlike other Western countries. Time and again controversy do come about the ingredients used in slew of food, medicines and cosmetic products. Latest has been the use of some Haram (forbidden) ingredients in Colgate toothpaste. But more or less, these turn out to be rumours. To cash on the religious sentiments of Muslims and there sensitivity towards Haram and Halal, a Muslim group of entrepreneurs recently launched Halal Products Pvt. Ltd. claiming that all the ingredients used in their products are according to the requirement of Islamic shariah.

According to the literature provided by the company all the products under the brand name of HALAL contain no animal fat and are free from alcohol. All the ingredients used in the making of halal products are of vegetable origin.

“All our products are made according to Islamic norms, certified by the CAMRI-USA and manufactured by ISO 9002 company,” said M. Aslam Nagauri Managing Director, Halal Products Pvt. Ltd. “Halal Products is working in the interest of the Muslim community across the globe by providing the best quality Halal Products. “He added.

CAMRI is a non-profit organisation providing information about Islamic dietary laws to Muslims all over the world. CAMRI in turn claims that all the information provided by it is thoroughly scrutinised by the Board of Advisors who are highly qualified Doctorates in their respective fields.

According to Nagauri, Company took its birth following his visit to America in the month of Ramzan 1999. He was Impressed about, how concerned Muslims in America are, about using Halal consumer products, with the help of organisations working seriously in determining the Halal and Haram status of products. “One such organisation is CAMRI. Its Executive Director, Zaheer Uddin with its noble work has enlightened the lives of Muslims,” he said.

“We are proud to be associated with CAMRI. Our sincere thanks, to them for providing us the technical details and the opportunity to serve the Muslim community. On my return, I saw there are about 120 million Muslims in India. A general survey revealed that a common man relates Halal and Haram to alcohol and meat / flesh only”.

Nagauri believes that Indian Muslims are not aware of so many Haram ingredients used in the consumer foods industry, nor they have any organisation to study the products in detail about their ingredients as per the Islamic dietary laws, and issue Halal or Haram certificate. “Even our government is having no regulations over the manufacturing and import of only Halal consumer products, as some countries like Saudi Arabia do,” he points out.

Niagara claims that rather than pure business interest, it is the company’s first step towards serving the Muslim community in the world. After extensive travelling, collecting data, meeting experts and carrying R&D at their end with the help of consultants, Halal products now claim to present their range of toothpaste, bath soap and shampoo which are totally Halal as per the Islamic dietary law and shariat.

While the microscopic Jewish community insists on its sealed Kosher food in flights, Muslims worldover are yet to develop a penchant for asking for Halal foods, drugs and cosmetics.

Nagauri opines that Muslims being the second largest community in the world has never made the world respect their practices. “If a Jew instructs an airline to provide him Kosher (Permitted) food on board, he is served with food which is placed in tray, is properly covered, and bears the mark of a Kosher Rabbi’s; the seal is broken before the eyes of the passenger. Thus the Jew, who constitute a very microscopic minority in any country, have not only observed their practices, they have also made the rest of world respect those practices,: he observed.

During the course of time Company plans to launch few other Halal consumer products commonly used by the Muslims in household. Although company’s intention seems to be noble, but its marketing seems very weak. When Islamic Voice approached a couple of retailers, the report was very poor. Most of the retailers opine that there is nothing exclusive about the Halal Prouducts, except the certification from CAMRI. “Similar products are available in the market at economic rates,” said Tahir Khandwani, one of the retailers selling Halal Products.

Even distribution seems very weak, as product availability is very poor. “Because of their fluctuating trade price no distributors would like to market Halal Products”, said Mumtaz Mir, who stopped distributing Halal products because of “very poor margin and unprofessional approach”.

More over without marketing muscle, advertisement support and efficient distribution network future of Halal Products seems very bleak. Moreover Halal Products’ market is a niche market which is itself a very narrow and limited market. Still one would wish the company success for its path-breaking venture.

For Details Contact: Halal Products, 1, Wellington, B-26, Shastri Nagar, Andheri (W), Mumbai-400053. Ph.: 6351503. Fax: 6351502.

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