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Dual Qualification in Germany
Pilot projects
  (back to index of schemes)


(1) National framework of the scheme; 
(2) Major features of the scheme;
(3) Educational concepts underlying the scheme;
(4) Organisational implications of the scheme;
(5) Evidence of the scheme's effect. 
Info unit 1 of 5 
Germany: Pilot projects

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(1) National framework of the scheme

Two pilot projects are described:
(a) Duale Berufsausbildung und Fachhochschulreife (dual vocational education and access qualification for higher-level studies) in Bavaria;
(b) Schwarze Pumpe (name of a brown coal production firm) in Brandenburg.
    The objective in both cases is to enable trainees within the dual system of vocational training to obtain the necessary certificates and qualifications needed both to complete an initial vocational training (Facharbeiterbrief) and to enter higher-level studies at a Fachhochschule. The two pilot projects differ in their conceptual and methodological approaches as well as time schedules, yet ultimately pursue the very same aim.
    The pilot projects are conditioned to a considerable extent by the specifically German differentiation drawn between vocational and general education. The route of double qualification offers a vocational certificate and the qualification to study in higher education, opportunities which otherwise can only be attained in different traditional educational school types which stand in isolation from each other. These traditional school types continue to operate within the context of the differentiated treatment of vocational and general education - despite the fact that two large-scale all-encompassing reforms of the school system as a whole have attempted to eradicate the problem.
    This situation has led to the paradox that young people pursue Gymnasium courses in order to obtain the Abitur not only because they believe it will secure them entry to the university, but also because they believe that they will then have a solid base from which to secure a traineeship (in certain intellectually demanding vocations). Seen from this perspective, it becomes only too apparent that educational measures offering double qualifications would, in many instances, indeed make good sense. 

Sources
INTEQUAL 
Contact

Rainer Bremer, Gerald Heidegger, Werner Kusch
Info unit 2 of 5 
Germany: Pilot projects

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(2) Major features of the scheme

The pilot projects in Bavaria and Brandenburg offer qualifications for higher-level studies at the Fachhochschule and enable students to acquire certificates as power electronics specialists or industrial mechanics. The time frame within which these qualifications can be achieved is of shorter organisational duration than traditionally would be (or is) the case (pilot project duration is 3 to 3 ½ years, while the standard vocational training takes 3 ½ years with an additional Fachoberschule/Berufsoberschule course of 1 to 2 years). 
    Unlike previous modes of double qualification, both pilot projects noted above are being carried out with the close co-operation and involvement of the training enterprises. This participation offers an educational model, and thus a methodological and didactic strategy, which closely aligns higher learning (preparation for the Fachhochschule) with vocational hands-on training. Students learn by doing. Theory and practice go hand in hand. 
    Both pilot projects must respect the legal regulations and/or existing educational/training requirements (involving a minimum of instructional time that must be spent on covering core subjects and subject matter). Nevertheless, because the co-operation of the pilot project partners allows for training/instruction to take place at only one site of learning (either at the school or enterprise), a time saving mechanism is guaranteed. In this way the reduction of the length of training does not mean that the transmission of general or, for that matter, vocational knowledge or know-how is necessarily reduced. 
    Furthermore, an additional opportunity becomes available. This involves the development of new curricular projects that integrate general and vocational contents and thus also save time. Moreover, such elements of the Fachoberschule/Berufsoberschule which generally - with the exception of the field of technology - are of an apparently theoretical nature, in actual fact fit into the curricula of vocational education very well. This also applies to foreign language instruction.

Sources
INTEQUAL 
Contact

Rainer Bremer, Gerald Heidegger, Werner Kusch
Info unit 3 of 5 
Germany: Pilot projects

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(3) Educational concepts underlying the scheme

The Brandenburg pilot project in particular emphasises the methodology of vocational hands-on practice. The curricula consist of complex 'Lern- und Arbeitsaufgaben' (learning and work tasks) which demand practical activity and planning as well as the carrying-out of vocational assignments. In this way the studentís ability to work independently and responsibly is encouraged and developed. The manufacture of equipment or the installation of components always includes a phase of analytical analysis as well as an evaluation of the steps to be taken (or which have been taken) in fulfilling the objectives of the task. Students work in groups (i.e. teams) and upon completion of the project present their results to the class (the act of presentation at the end is of particular significance within the pedagogic approach adopted).
    The Bavarian pilot project Duale Berufsausbildung und Fachhochschulreife has as its most distinctive feature the paradigm of working with a so-called Leitfach, a major subject that connects various instructional and training materials in such a way that theory, practice and seemingly extraneous subject matter are brought together and in this way made tangible. The pilot project Leitfach is technology/technological mathematics. Insights from the field of the psychology of learning play an important role and function such that students discover knowledge in its natural holistic context. 
   Disseminating knowledge and know-how according to the guiding principle of the Leitfach is aimed at assisting students to achieve higher educational standards and to do so more readily and easily. Furthermore, the intensified interlinking of subject matter makes use of the considerable learning potential that is involved in learning-on-the-job. As a consequence, the Bavarian pilot project has developed in part integrative syllabi with cross-curricular vocational and general educational contents.

Sources
INTEQUAL 
Contact

Rainer Bremer, Gerald Heidegger, Werner Kusch
Info unit 4 of 5 
Germany: Pilot projects

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(4) Organisational implications of the scheme

The Brandenburg pilot project has yet to be completed, but this Bundesland - with the formal approval of educational training and examination requirements relating to double qualifications - achieved the necessary preconditions for the introduction of double qualification routes at all upper-level vocational centres (Oberstufenzentren) in Brandenburg. On the basis of this new educational law, the administrative board of education is obliged to recognise officially the application of this new educational route, always assuming that the required conditions exist (for instance that sufficient trainees have applied). Even so, in order to promote the Schwarze Pumpe pilot project with its special features and methodology, a transfer process has been initiated. This transfer will be backed by measures aimed at training enterprises and vocational schools (for instance offering continuing training for teachers and trainers, and through implementing standard curricula).
    The Bavarian pilot project has been directly integrated in the existing vocational (regulated) school system via the vocational school and enterprise training association ('Lernortverbund'), which consists of participating vocational schools, Fachoberschulen/ Berufsoberschulen and training enterprises. The pilot project will initially run until the year 2004. If it is running successfully, then it is intended to integrate the pilot project into the traditional Bavarian vocational school system.

Sources
INTEQUAL 
Contact

Rainer Bremer, Gerald Heidegger, Werner Kusch
Info unit 5 of 5 
Germany: Pilot projects

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(5) Evidence of the scheme's effect

In Bavaria, the pilot project students were asked why they were participating in the double qualification programme. Approximately 80% of them stated the one-and-a-half year time saving mechanism (compared to the length of the traditionally taken route) for obtaining higher study qualifications and vocational certification as the reason for their choice. The possibility of obtaining better occupational opportunities was the second most often stated reason - given by 49% of the participants. The third most often stated reason - listed by 42.9% - involved the opportunity of attaining a higher degree of vocational and general education related knowledge and the fifth, given by 18.4%, concerned the possibility of greater occupational flexibility, i.e. the opportunity of later being able to change occupations.
    Another questionnaire revealed how graduates of the Bavarian pilot project intend to utilise their double qualifications. 63.2% of the participants wish to pursue higher studies. Of these, 36.7% subsequently intend to return to their original training company as a fully qualified engineer. Only 4% of the participants with a university entrance qualification return to work without having completed higher studies (for the most part to their original training company). None of the Bavarian participants have, however, had to deal with unemployment because the training companies have agreed to guarantee reemployment.

Sources
INTEQUAL 
Contact

Rainer Bremer, Gerald Heidegger, Werner Kusch

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Latest update: 25/04/2000
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