In 2004, the first cooperative agreement with Tongji University was signed. In September that year, the first 85 Chinese students started studying at CDHAW in the three programs of supply engineering, vehicle engineering, and mechatronics on Tongji main campus in Shanghai.
In April 2005, in order to promote the practical relevance of the studies, the “Advisor Forum of the German Economy” was founded at CDHAW in Shanghai, and the relations between university and industry were deepened. Students are being arranged to do internships with German companies with subsidiaries in Shanghai as well as at the sites in Germany.
In January 2006, three German universities of applied sciences signed their consortial agreement in Esslingen and founded the “CDHAW Consortium” in order to coordinate the cooperation of the universities involved. At the founding date, the involved universities were the Esslingen University of Applied Sciences, which took the lead of the Consortium, as well as the Erfurt and Braunschweig Universities of Applied Sciences. In order to do justice to the challenges of numerous coordination tasks with a growing number of universities, the Consortium counted on a flat joint administration right from the beginning. The consortial structure allows for a subject-related coordination within a study program for all consortial universities. The coordination with the international partner is assumed by a general coordinator, thereby disburdening the universities involved.
In March 2007, the Association of the Friends of CDHAW was founded by members of the Consortium. From the beginning, German companies being active in the Chinese-German economic area were involved in the Association. With stipends and grants, the project CDHAW is being promoted.
In September 2008, the offer at CDHAW was expanded: the study program industrial engineering was newly introduced; furthermore, the first students of German member universities started their studies at CDHAW. Consequently, German students were also able to obtain a double degree now.
The alumni association „CAMT“ was founded by graduates and members of CDHAW in Frankfurt in 2013. There are already more than 400 members registered.
In September 2013, the Mannheim University of Applied Sciences took over the consortial lead from the Esslingen University of Applied Science. The new chairman is the dean of the Mannheim University of Applied Sciences, Prof. Dr. D. Leonhard.
In April and December 2014, CDHAW celebrated its 10-years anniversary with several events in Shanghai and Berlin. At this point, the unique university project already had more than 1.000 Chinese graduates, almost 800 of them with a double degree. On the German side, already roughly 200 students completed an exchange year in Shanghai; more than half of them concluded it with a double degree.
In February 2014, a cooperative agreement was made with Tecnológico de Monterrey in Mexico as further cooperative partner. Since then, the Consortium operates under the name of “German University Consortium for International Cooperations” (German abbreviation: DHIK) in order to extend the model project to further countries. The “Mexican-German University Cooperation” (German abbreviation: MDHK) adapted the success story of the CDHAW Consortium for Mexico. With Tecnológico de Monterrey in Monterrey, the MDHK starts with seven study programs according to the best practice model of CDHAW. The first students started their exchange in the winter term of 2014/15.
In March 2016, the DHIK administrative office with its 1.5 employees moves into its own premises at the Mannheim University of Applied Sciences. From this point of time, all processes regarding the CDHAW and the mdhk projects are being centrally coordinated by this office.
In August 2016, the first German students started their bachelor double degree studies at Tecnológico de Monterrey in the areas of industrial engineering, mechanical engineering, and vehicle engineering.
In February 2017, the first DHIK Forum took place at the Mexican embassy in Berlin. It had the title “Intercultural Engineering Education – Aspiration and Reality”. More than 100 participants joined the presentations and panel discussions of notable representatives of the industry and the DHIK as well as the partner universities Tec de Monterrey and Tongji.
Second Tec-DHIK Forum at Tecnológico de Monterrey in Monterrey, Mexico.
More than 300 participants from businesses, the academic world, and public institutions joined the Tec-DHIK Forum with the topic “Industry 4.0: The role of Universities, Industry and Governments: Status and Vision“ in February 2018.
For the guests of DHIK universities that arrived from Germany, a weeklong trip was offered in advance. This trip included tours of the Tec campuses as well as internationally operating companies in the area around Mexico City as well in Monterrey.
Due to the change of university of the DHIK chairman Prof. Dr. D. Leonhard from the Mannheim University of Applied Scienes to the University of Applied Sciences for Economy and Technology of the Saarland (htw saar), the htw saar is elected as the new consortial university at the consortial assembly in March 2019.
Furthermore, the Lucerne University of Applied Sciences and Arts was made a fully adequate member and the Fulda University of Applied Sciences a new member of the DHIK. The Consortium now consists of 30 universities in the German-speaking area.
At the turn of the year, the move of the administrative office to the consortial university, htw saar, took place.
In summer 2020, the cooperative agreement for the cooperation regarding the Chinese-German University of Applied Sciences (German abbreviation: CDHAW) was extended for the upcoming 20 years.
The consortial assembly elected four more universities into the Consortium and now welcomes Bielefeld University of Applied Sciences, South Westphalia University of Applied Sciences, Trier University of Applied Sciences, and Lübeck Technical University of Applied Sciences as full members of the Consortium.
Thus, the Consortium currently consists of 34 universities in the German-speaking area.