What is the project Bachelor & Meister about?

 

In all EU countries there is a clear, rapidly growing shortage of leading personnel, which strongly restricts the growth of SMEs. Hanse Parlament comprehensively analysed the demand for young entrepreneurs and leaders and the necessary competencies for all countries in the Baltic Sea Region.

In individual EU countries, e.g. in Germany, a large proportion of young entrepreneurs are attracted to vocational training, in particular to the Master craftsman training (Meisterausbildung).

However, recent developments show that it has been changing to the detriment of vocational education and training (VET). VET generally and among them the Master craftsman training is often perceived as a dead end and only to a limited extent as good option to academic pathway. In many other EU countries like in Poland, Latvia or Lithuania this development has been observed for decades and the proportion of young people deciding for vocational training or studies is about 1/3 to 2/3.

In Germany, for example, the Master craftsman qualification is just like the academic Bachelor’s degree at the level 6 of the German Qualification Framework (GQF)[1]. However, this does not have any practical effects and the permeability between VET system and academic sector is actually pretty modest. As a rule, competences acquired in the master craftsman training are not recognized for study programs. Moreover, internationally, the master craftsman qualification is accredited only to a very limited extent.

The professionals with Master craftsman qualification have practical knowledge, professional experience and good skills in professional practice and theory. However, competences in business management and leadership are not sufficient to manage a company successfully.

In SMEs, practical experience and professional knowledge are essential to manage a company. Since many university graduates lack these competences, SMEs can only very limited attract future leaders from this group of graduates. Therefore, relevant competences in professional practice and theory as well as professional knowledge should be an object of study courses.

To improve the current situation the project develops dual Bachelor’s study courses that combine two degrees: the academic Bachelor’s and the Master craftsman qualification, and thus the project goals are to:

  1. increase relevance and quality as well as improving competencies and knowledge in the parts of the master craftsman training program and in the parts of the Bachelor’s degree;
  2. transfer relevant professional skills and practical experience through the dual study approach;
  3. contribute to the overcoming of shortage of entrepreneurs in SMEs;
  4. ensure Bologna-compliant study courses with full international recognition;
  5. contribute to the EU agenda for the modernization of Europe’s higher education systems;
  6. increase the attractiveness of vocational education and training;
  7. promote permeability by reducing recognition problems.

The project requires a 3-year implementation period to process 9 work packages with the following main activities:

  1. Project management and implementation of 6 project partner meetings and 2 international multiplier events;
  2. Development of alternative methods and models for the realization of dual study courses with integral parts of master craftsman training qualification and bachelor’s degree;
  3. Development and coordination of 4 national implementation concepts;
  4. For the construction and the electrical sectors: development of curricula and modules’ manuals for two integral dual courses according to the guidelines and structure requirements for the accreditation of bachelor’s courses;
  5. Testing, accreditation and implementation of the study course for construction professions;
  6. Development and coordination of examination regulations;
  7. Introduction of further accreditations and preparation of further implementations;
  8. Transfer of the project results to 68 chambers crafts, industry and commerce and universities/universities of applied sciences from 13 countries that are involved as associated partners in the project implementation and receive sustainable implementation consultations as well as are beneficiaries of dissemination activities.

All concepts, curricula, etc. have the claim to be applied in the 4 project countries. At the same time, transfer and implementation in other countries are strongly encouraged.

 

[1] The core of the EQF is its eight reference levels defined in terms of learning outcomes, i.e. knowledge, skills and autonomy-responsibility. Learning outcomes express what individuals know, understand and are able to do at the end of a learning process. Countries develop national qualifications frameworks (NQFs) to implement the EQF.