Popularity of dual study courses remains unbroken. With 11.4 % in 2013, the AusbildungPlus (vocational education plus) database of the Federal Institute for Vocational Education and Training (BIBB) registered a two-digit growth rate in dual study courses for initial training.

The database currently records 1014 dual study courses with simultaneous training in a company and at university (of applied sciences) or university of cooperative education. This figure is boosted by 447 additional study courses for continuing education. Students registered with AusbildungPlus increased from 41000 in 2004 to 64400 in 2013. In particular, universities expanded their dual study courses from 30 to 57 in the past year.

Traditionally, dual study courses are mostly found in economics, engineering and computer sciences. However, the biggest growth took place in social sciences, where study courses on offer grew by almost a third to currently 41 courses registered in the database. This exceeds a growth rate of 24 % in the previous year. The main reason is demographically-caused demand for skilled professionals in the healthcare and nursing industry.

With cooperation between at least two learning environments, dual study courses adopt a core principle of vocational education and training. In its position paper on dual study courses of October 2013, the Wissenschaftsrat (German Science Council) highlights significance of combining theory with practice. It defines the link between in-company and academic learning by way of corresponding curricula and organisation as a central quality criterion for dual study courses.

BIBB President Friedrich Hubert Esser welcomes the position paper: ’The future challenge will be to establish quality standards regarding the link between in-company and academic learning in dual study courses.’ The Science Council's recommendation will be adopted to give direction to systematic registration of dual study courses in the central AusbildungPlus project database.

More information:
  • AusbildungPlus is a BIBB project funded by the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF). Its focal point is a database providing nationwide information on dual study courses and additional qualifications in the dual vocational education system.
  • Wissenschaftsrat(German Science Council) provides advice to the German Federal Government and State (Länder) governments on higher education and research’s  structure and development.
  • Empfehlungen zur Entwicklung des dualen Studiums: Positionspapier [Position paper on dual study courses] (in German).

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