Dual higher education study – upwards trend carries on

“TrainingPlus” database records more than 100,000 students in dual programmes

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The latest evaluation of the Federal Institute for Vocational Education and Training’s (BIBB) “TrainingPlus” database shows that the upwards trend in dual programmes of higher education study is continuing. This is the first time that TrainingPlus has registered more than 100,000 students undertaking a dual course of study. A constant growth in programme provision has also been recorded. 1,592 programmes are currently on offer from German institutes of higher education. Increasing numbers of companies are also making dual study training places available.

Whereas firms were offering just under 18,200 such opportunities in 2004, around 48,000 cooperative programmes were in place as of the latest cut-off date. This means both that the number of students (40,982 in 2004) and the amount of companies entering into cooperative arrangements have more than doubled during this period. The number of dual programmes of higher education study has more than tripled from a level of 512 in 2004.

The specialist subject areas of engineering and business administration still account for the largest amount of individual courses, 600 and 540 respectively. Compared to overall provision, these make up 38% and 34% of all dual programmes from which students can choose. The most popular specialism in numerical terms is business administration with 44,631 students. This is followed by engineering with 27,410 and the social work/education/healthcare/nursing sector with 10,661.

Further and increasing differentiation can be observed within the programmes of study. The highest degrees of growth recorded in recent years have been in economic and social studies, followed by programmes in public administration and policing. Development in social work, education, healthcare and nursing, where 159 programmes are available, has remained steady. The number of students in this sector is, however, rising. The category with the highest number of programmes is nursing science. Dominant combinations are with training occupations in geriatric nursing care and with commercial occupations.

In June 2017, the BIBB Board produced a position paper which underlined the importance of dual programmes of higher education study as innovative forms of educational provision which help to secure the supply of skilled workers and shape individual training biographies. It also formulated “Recommendations on the quality dimensions of dual programmes of study to act as ideas for practice and as a guide”. Known as the “Parliament of Vocational Education and Training”, the BIBB Board includes representatives of the employers, the trade unions, the federal states and the Federal Government, all of whom have equal voting rights.

“TrainingPlus” is a specialist portal that has been operated by BIBB since 2015. At the core of this portal is a database which provides information on dual courses of higher education study and on additional qualifications in dual VET, i.e. training provision which links dual training with further educational programmes. Young people interested in pursuing such a pathway are able to search the database for appropriate opportunities. Providers – e.g. companies, institutes of higher education, Universities of Applied Sciences or Universities of Cooperative Education – are also permitted to publish details of their training and higher education study provision free of charge.

The evaluation “TrainingPlus – dual higher education study in figures, trends and analyses for 2016” is available for download (in German) on the BIBB website at www.ausbildungplus.de.

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