Dual studies are growing: good job prospects, extensible practical part – knowledge

Ironically, when it comes to the quality of the practical stages in the company, the dual study program needs to be made even better. This requirement, which researchers derive from the most comprehensive assessment of the location of dual studies in Germany to date, has to do with the substance of the study form introduced in the 1970s.

Three-quarters of the students surveyed cited as a very important reason for choosing a dual program as “good career prospects” after studying mainly in a university of applied sciences, which is combined with vocational training or practical stages extensive in a company. However, a quarter of them have already thought about changing companies or degrees.

For the CHE Centrum studys for University Development and the Business Education Research Institute (f-bb) on behalf of the Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF), approximately 3,500 students were surveyed from October 2020 to April 2022.

Sigrun Nickel, one of the two study project managers, explains that combining theory-practice in the dual study program is in particular need of improvement. “Company training and study plans are also very important here,” says the head of university research at CHE.

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Above all, companies are in demand, which ultimately expects a lot from dual students as well – and already attaches great importance to the practical importance of the subject (78.7 percent). The survey of about 1700 people involved in the company showed that they participate in such programs because they can retain potential employees at an early stage (67.2 percent) and consequently see a huge advantage in on-the-job training of students even before . they graduate (65, 6 percent).

The share of students in Berlin is 6.8 percent

These figures also show how expandable the dual study program is in Germany: In 2019, 122,000 people across the country were studying at the same time in universities and in companies, four times more than in 2004. The share of about 2000 courses dual now accounts for 18.1 percent of courses offered in the bachelor field (and 9.6 percent in the master).

A graph of the percentage of students in dual studies in Germany.Photo: dpa / Graphics: J. Reschke, Editor: J. Schneider

However, because these are mostly small programs with relatively few students, their share in the nationwide student body is on average only 4.2 percent (first semester percentage: 4.6 percent). CHE and f-bb identified major regional differences: in the Saarland, almost 30 percent of students are enrolled in a dual study course, in Bavaria it is only 2.6 percent and in Bremen only 0.6 percent.

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With a percentage of 6.8 percent, Berlin is in third place in a nationwide comparison of student stocks. Here leads the subject group of justice and economics with a double proportion of 26.7 percent, followed by health sciences with 12.4 percent.

The authors of CHE and f-bb see the potential for more dual study courses, for example in the field of health and care. “The emerging need for skilled workers in this field can be partially met by more dual study programs in this field,” he says.

There is also criticism of contractual security and social status of dual students. Their remuneration is regulated very differently: On average they receive 1018 euros per month from cooperating companies. In the Saarland, where one can actually talk about a dual studies boom, it is only 627 euros (since 2021).

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