Dual courses of study gaining favour

Dual courses of study are becoming increasingly popular: in 2010, the number of dual courses of study offered in Germany increased by 12.5 per cent. The rate of increase was more than triple that of the previous year.

The number of companies involved also increased, by about nine per cent, and the number of students increased by over six per cent. Those are the results of an evaluation of the AusbildungPlus database of the Federal Institute for Vocational Education and Training (BIBB).

Dual courses of study are an especially innovative, attractive and practical way of studying that has enjoyed increasing popularity for years with companies and young people. They combine practical in-company training with theoretical instruction in a (technical) university or college of advanced vocational studies. Students thus have the chance to acquire two qualifications at once in a large number of study programmes: a training qualification and an academic degree.

The increase has been especially pronounced in the so-called MINT subjects (mathematics, information science, natural sciences and technology). For example, the increase in the general engineering sciences, amounting to 23.5 per cent of the dual study programmes offered, was greater than in any other discipline. The increases in the electrical engineering, civil engineering and mechanical engineering/process technology fields were also well above average. The number of students in the MINT subjects also increased by about a quarter over the previous year. By increasing the number of courses offered, companies and institutions of higher education are responding to expected shortages in these fields.

AusbildungPlus is a project of the BIBB, supported by the Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF). Its core is a database containing information from all over the country on dual courses of study and supplementary qualifications in the dual system of vocational education and training.

Currently the database contains more than 900 dual courses of study and more than 2,200 supplementary qualifications. Interested young people can search the database for suitable opportunities free of charge. Providers - such as companies, (technical) universities and colleges of advanced vocational training - can announce what academic and vocational courses they are offering, also free of charge.

Source: Newsletter article of the Federal Institute for Vocational Education and Training (BIBB), revised by iMOVE, April 2011