The Hasso Plattner Institute for Software Systems Engineering in Germany, will offer a new masters degree for "design thinking" next year.

According to the institute's founder Hasso Plattner, the new program will be modelled after a similar course that he helped launch and fund at the Institute of Design at California's Stanford University. The SAP co-founder made the announcement earlier this week at Germany's first-ever IT summit held at the institute.

The programme will bring together students, faculty and corporate collaborators from diverse backgrounds, including engineering, business, the arts and philosophy, to tackle software design from a multitude of perspectives, said Plattner.

A primary goal is to encourage interdisciplinary teamwork, something that Plattner believes is sorely lacking in the training of many European software engineers.

One the former SAP chief executive’s pet hates is that software engineers often pack products with far too many functions that no one needs, often because they're too focused on engineering.

His aim with the new program is to help students take a more creative, interdisciplinary and user-oriented approach to new product design.