Increase permeability in the education sector


Access to education must not depend on social background. Our education system must therefore become even more permeable. Everyone should have the chance to develop their individual skills. After all, bright minds are the central resource for our country's innovative strength and prosperity.

Gerhard F. Braun, Member of the BDA Executive Committee, Chairman of the Expert Committee on Education, Vocational Training of the BDA and BDI

A lack of social and structural permeability in the education system hinders the development of all potentials and endangers the securing of skilled labour. The BDA is convinced that no educational path should become a dead end. We need bridges and transitions between all areas of education.

Increasing permeability between educational sectors is a social and . This applies to the entire education chain. However, there are still social and structural obstacles to a permeable education system in Germany. Access to education is still too strongly dependent on social background - although it is important to mobilise all educational resources, particularly with a view to securing skilled labour.
The structural obstacles have become fewer in recent years, legal foundations have been created and new services have emerged. However, there is a need for much better information about this.

Enable in-service learning - improve credit transfer

Those with professional qualifications usually want to continue their education parallel to their careers. Universities must also respond to these needs by expanding their part-time study programmes (degree courses, certificate courses, modules) - of which there are still too few. In addition, these offers must take into account and include the professional experience of the participants. Prospective students must also be better informed about the possibilities for credit transfer - and the universities must make far greater use of the framework opened up by the Standing Conference of the Ministers of Education and Cultural Affairs of the Länder in the Federal Republic of Germany (KMK) for credit transfer of up to 50 percent of a curriculum.

Promote permeability in both directions

Permeability means not only pathways from vocational education to higher education - but also from higher education to vocational education. This is important not only for dropouts who take up dual training after dropping out and for whom there are also attractive offers in higher vocational education. For example, it is possible for drop-outs with at least 90 ECTS credits and two years of work experience to take the advanced training examination directly to become a commercial specialist.

Vocational training is also attractive for university graduates with a degree. In this regard, all parties involved - universities, companies, VET stakeholders - have a duty to provide more information about the possibility of shortening the training period or entering vocational education and training directly instead of undergoing training. Successful examples are the architect who, after completing her studies, takes a qualification examination to become a building energy consultant at the Chamber of Crafts and Trades (HWK), the business administration graduate who takes the further training examination to become an accountant, or the graduate of a pedagogy course who completes further training to become a vocational pedagogue.

Trying out new forms of structured dovetailing

The two educational sectors should also be open to new forms of interlinking where this makes sense. One interesting model is study-integrated training with a joint vocational-academic orientation phase. The advantage of such a model is that trainees do not have to decide until a later date whether to continue their training, switch to a dual course of study or opt for full-time study.

BDA advocates a permeable education system

Together with the German Rectors' Conference (HRK) and the Donors' Association for the Promotion of Sciences and Humanities in Germany (Stifterverband für die deutsche Wissenschaft), the BDA has launched the "Expert Forum on Permeability between Vocational and Higher Education". Here, experts from vocational and higher education, research institutes, companies, associations, trade unions, the Federal Government and the Länder regularly exchange views, discuss new approaches and provide information on best practices. The BDA chaired the "Permeability" working group at the Federal Institute for Vocational Education and Training (BIBB) when new was developed.

PDFs on the topic

10. November 2020