New bachelor's graduates launch their mortarboards

Velbert: with mortarboards aloft, 40 graduates from the trade and technical school for social education celebrate their special day. The first "Bachelor Professional in Social Services" qualifications were awarded at Bleibergquelle vocational college.

"You can't fail to be impressed," declared Principal Ludwig Wenzel with delight. The certificate not only includes state recognition but also the general higher education entrance qualification and, for the first time – following completion of the recognition year – a bachelor's title. "The recognition procedures were delayed due to the coronavirus which is why the graduation ceremony is only just taking place," explains teacher Andrea Sander who provided intensive support during the training.

The bachelor's became possible as a result of the amendment to the Vocational Training Act on 1 January 2020. This is why a qualification at this high level is being awarded for the first time in North Rhine-Westphalia for the vocational education and training. Applying to other European countries has become much more straightforward.

The qualification is equivalent to the academic bachelor's degree which is uniformly accepted across Europe. "With this qualification, the Federal Ministry of Education is showing that academic and vocational education and training are equally highly valued. Both offer outstanding prospects and complement each other. Vocational education and training at a higher level opens up opportunities through to master's level. And qualification titles which can be understood internationally make this immediately visible to all. This also meets the demand for skilled workers and therefore ensures competitiveness,” explains Wenzel.

Source: (website of the German newspaper WZ), revised by iMOVE, December 2021