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 Characteristics of dual qualifications
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Qualifications at upper secondary level
Comparison

(0) Introduction
(1) The dimension of the schemes of dual qualification; 
(2) The place of dual qualifications within upper secondary education;
(3) The type of certification awarded for dual qualifications;
(4) The part of dual qualifications in the process of training and employment;
(5) The target groups entering the schemes of dual qualification;
(6) The scale of enrolment in schemes of dual qualification.
Info unit Q 0 of 6

Qualifications at upper secondary level 
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Chart/ Map/ Index
(0) Introduction

The development of dual qualifications is related to basic educational aspirations in the countries concerned:
(#) In the Czech Republic, vocational programmes offering a dual qualification enjoy a strong tradition and have recently seen considerable extension throughout upper secondary education;
(#) the national reforms in Norway and Sweden were initiated to reorganise the education system, particularly at upper secondary level, in such a way that it could meet the demands for lifelong learning and provide qualifications for employment as well as for access to higher education;
(#) the ongoing reform in England has aimed at creating a coherent national qualifications framework with three different pathways: general, vocational and a middle one with dual orientation (GNVQ),
(#) in France, starting out from the need for higher qualification standards, the intention was to bring the majority of young people up to baccalauréat level and, by creating the Bac Pro, to also meet the demand for a new category of industrial technicians;
(#) the rising educational demand of young people in the Netherlands, especially for a double qualification already in operation (MBO, now: BOL4), has put the question of further developing its dual orientation on the agenda;
(#) new schemes have been introduced in Austria, Finland, Germany and, for a period, in Greece which are specifically designed to overcome the gap between general and vocational education by developing approaches of integrated learning.

Sources
INTEQUAL/ DUOQUAL
Contact

Sabine Manning
Info unit Q 1 of 6

Qualifications at upper secondary level
Info structure

Chart/ Map/ Index
(1) The dimension of the schemes of dual qualification > Figure Q1

All schemes investigated are part of the upper secondary level of education. Three groups may be distinguished:
(a) schemes which extend over an integral part of the whole educational sector, such as the study branches in the Czech Republic, the vocational courses in Portugal and the vocational programmes or streams within the comprehensive school systems of Norway and Sweden;
(b) schemes which refer to individual courses or qualifications, e.g. the Bac Pro in France, the GNVQ in England, the IML in Greece, the MBO/ BOL4 in the Netherlands and the WIFI Academy courses in Austria;
(c) schemes which represent pilot projects within the established systems of vocational education and training, including the experimental reform in Finland and the pilot projects in Germany (Bavaria/ Brandenburg).
    Most of the schemes considered in this study are still in their initial stage (AT, En, NO, PT, SE) or in a pilot phase (DE, FI), with one no longer operating (EL); only three are already established (CZ, FR, NL) (see figure Q6).

Sources
INTEQUAL/ DUOQUAL
Contact

Sabine Manning
Info unit Q 2 of 6 
Qualifications at upper secondary level

Info structure

Chart/ Map/ Index
(2) The place of dual qualifications within upper secondary education > Figure Q2

The schemes analysed in this study are selected from a broader range of dual qualifications existing in the countries concerned. Schemes of dual qualification can be found in or across all strands of upper secondary education including full-time general, full-time vocational and dual/part-time vocational education.
    In all countries, dual qualifications are available within full-time vocational education, i.e. as school-based schemes. This strand of upper secondary education may be regarded as the most fruitful basis of dual qualifications. The schemes involved vary, however, in the extent to which they are related to other strands as well. Several patterns can be identified:
(a) some schemes are confined to the full-time vocational strand only, e.g. the BTn (FR) and the Technological Lyceum (EL); a few of them (MBO/ BOL4 and GNVQ) are accessible via modular structures which extend over the rest of vocational education (NL) or over the whole of secondary education (En);
(b) other schemes are vocational programmes or streams which link up with full-time general education as part of comprehensive systems (NO, SE); other schemes link up with apprenticeships as preceding stage (CZ; FR: Bac Pro) or optional part of the stream (NO).
    In some countries, schemes of dual qualification have been specifically designed to integrate educational strands. General and vocational full-time education have been integrated in two schemes: in the Integrated Multivalent Lyceum (EL) and in the individual study programmes (FI). Full-time vocational education and apprenticeship training have been integrated within a course (pilot project Bavaria: Germany). 
    In three countries dual qualifications are provided within the strand of apprenticeship or part-time education: either as a general entitlement (PT) or as specific schemes: the Berufsmatura and the WIFI Academy (AT) and a pilot project (Brandenburg: Germany).

Sources
INTEQUAL/ DUOQUAL
Contact

Sabine Manning
Info unit Q 3 of 6 
Qualifications at upper secondary level

Info structure

Chart/ Map/ Index
(3) The type of certification awarded for dual qualifications > Figure Q3

Certification for dual qualifications is dependent on the legal framework of the national education system and on the role of academic versus vocational credentials in the society concerned. The type of certificate, therefore, gives little indication in transnational comparison of the characteristics or status of the individual dual qualification. Nevertheless, among the schemes investigated a certain pattern emerges: 
(#) the most common form is a combination of matriculation and vocational certification - as an expression of a 'double qualification' (AT, DE, EL, FI, NO, PT); in one case the vocational certificate may be complemented by adding a transfer certificate for higher education (NL);
(#)  three schemes (CZ, FR, SE) lead to a matriculation only, with one being qualified as vocational (Bac Pro);
(#) only one scheme has a specific certificate (GNVQ: En).

Sources
INTEQUAL/ DUOQUAL
Contact

Sabine Manning
Info unit 4 of 6
Qualifications at upper secondary level

Info structure

Chart/ Map/ Index
(4) The part of dual qualifications in the process of training and employment > Figure Q4

Most schemes of dual qualification have emerged from vocational education and training (see info unit Q2), thus being part of the process of vocational qualification for skilled employment in the countries concerned. While most schemes start immediately after compulsory education, some operate on the basis of a preceding apprenticeship or course of initial training (CZ:2; FR) or build on experience of skilled employment (AT). 
    Within the schemes, training in full-time, apprenticeship or part-time arrangements may be applied. The majority of schemes are based on full-time education which is extended by offering practical assignments (En, FI, FR, NL, PT and SE). The German pilot projects are part of a dual system linking a full programme of training at an enterprise with theoretical vocational instruction at school. The Norwegian scheme includes the options of a full-time course (1) or a combination of a full-time period and an apprenticeship (2). In the Czech Republic, dual qualifications can be obtained in full-time or part-time courses. An exception is the Austrian scheme, which operates as a part-time course alongside employment.
    There is a significant distinction in the relevance for employment between 
(#) schemes providing basic vocational education as entry-level qualifications which have to be supplemented by continuing vocational training or on-the-job training (En, FI, NO:1, SE) and
(#) schemes representing full qualifications for skilled labour at craft, technician or middle-management level (AT, CZ, EL, FR NL, NO:2,  PT).
(This distinction  will be followed up in the info units O1 and O5.)

Sources
INTEQUAL/ DUOQUAL
Contact

Sabine Manning
Info unit Q 5 of 6 
Qualifications at upper secondary level

Info structure

Chart/ Map/ Index
(5) The target groups entering  the schemes of dual qualification > Figure Q5

All the investigated schemes except for two (AT, FR) are part of the initial vocational training which is provided at upper secondary level for 16-19 year olds. Several of these schemes (CZ, En, NO, PT, SE) are open to adult students as well. The Czech and French schemes also offer the option of advanced education and training for students who have already completed initial vocational courses or certain stages of them. In Austria, the scheme is exclusively geared to adults who are already qualified and employed. 
    While some schemes are accessible for the corresponding target group without preconditions ((AT, EL, FI, NO, PT, SE), others are restricted in access by requiring specific entry qualifications (En, FR, NL), by setting entry examinations (CZ) or by applying selection criteria (DE). These distinctions are partly due to general characteristics of the national systems concerned. However, they may also reflect differences in the function and status of the individual schemes. For instance, certain schemes offer dual qualifications as a general option, leaving it to the individual students to make the most of it (FI, NO, PT, SE); other schemes offer dual qualifications as part of distinct and demanding vocational courses (CZ, NL), and a few schemes are particularly designed to attract high-achievers (DE, FR).

Sources
INTEQUAL/ DUOQUAL
Contact

Sabine Manning
Info unit Q 6 of 6 
Qualifications at upper secondary level

Info structure

Chart/ Map/ Index
(6) The scale of enrolment in schemes of dual qualification > Figure Q6

Since the schemes of dual qualification differ in their educational aims, in the length of time they have been in existence and in the target groups they address (see info unit Q5), the scale of enrolment is bound to vary considerably. In terms of proportion of the relevant age group, the participation in the schemes ranges from low level (less than 1%: AT, DE) via medium level (5-20%: EL, En, FI, FR, PT) to high level (upto 45%: CZ, NL, NO, SE). It should be noted, though, that some of these percentages refer to a 'gross' proportion of all entitled entrants, while only a smaller part of these either reach the corresponding level of the course (NL) or choose to acquire a dual qualification (FI, SE). 
    The trends in enrolment point upwards in most schemes (CZ, EL, En, FI, NL, NO, PT). The stable trend observed in some cases may either be connected with a given framework of the scheme (CZ, AT, DE) or caused by a saturation of demand (FR, SE). None of the schemes shows a downward trend in participation. 
    The predominant upward trend in enrolment correlates, in 7 schemes, with significant proportions of the age group involved. This can be interpreted as an indication of both the attractiveness and the relevance of dual qualifications in the majority of the countries concerned. 

Sources
INTEQUAL/ DUOQUAL
Contact

Sabine Manning

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  First set up 23/08/1998
Latest update: 15/02/1999
 Contact: Sabine Manning
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