I am currently exploring the opportunities to transfer elements of the well-established system of co-operative studies (“duales Studium”) in Germany to the Middle East. Interestingly, a prominent Arab investor is fascinated by the fact that post-secondary education in Germany - different from many other countries in Europe and even more beyond - succeeds in creating employability opportunities to young people.
A crucial facet of this system and an element which is easier to transfer to other Countries than other aspects are co-operative study programs which intertwine academic studies at the University with practical training in a co-operating company.
“Duales Studiengänge” (co-operative study programs) are defined by three key elements:
- They are “dual” in the sense of combining two places of learning and two different approaches to learning.
- They meet academic standards, guaranteed through accreditation processes.
- They lead to a two-fold qualification, linking theoretical knowledge with practical skills and experiences.
As an example: Based on a trilateral contract, the trainee/employee, the employing company and the University agree on the program, its curriculum and conditions. In a systematic way, phases of practical work and training in the company are followed by periods of academic studies. Thus, over a time of three years, the employee/trainee is lead to a BA degree plus a recognized practical qualification which usually go along with a very low risk of unemployment. From an employer perspective, co-operative studies ensure a tailor-made curriculum that is very close to the actual qualification needs in the company and which often could not be offered by the company alone.
As pre-conditions for programs like this, we will explore the openness of company partners in the Region, the opportunity to transfer established curricula, the interest of young people in a new form of education and the legislative framework.