In Germany, the number of people taking up university degree courses has grown significantly in past decades. As a result, the expectations placed on these courses and the framework conditions under which they operate have changed as well. The German Science and Humanities Council (Wissenschaftsrat, WR) has taken a stand on both the design of the courses and the significance of higher education for the professional careers of graduates.
In the four-part series on recommendations on the qualification of skilled personnel against the backdrop of demographic change
the WR addressed the question of how higher education institutions, together with other education providers, can respond to social changes appropriately and ensure the continued qualification of skilled personnel. To this end, the WR has examined the relationship between vocational and academic education routes and recommended that an online portal be established: the “Education Navigator”. The purpose of this portal is to bring together all the relevant and sometimes confusing information available on the internet and put it in a systematic order. The WR has also investigated the relationship between higher education and the labour market and has emphasised that higher education studies degree courses serve to provide academic education, personal development and preparation for the labour market at the same time. While none of these goals should be neglected, universities are in a position to set priorities. In view of the large number of refugees taking up studies in Germany, the WR also gave recommendations on
The WR has issued several recommendations with regard to the design of Medicine degree programmes, proposing that such programmes be more strongly oriented towards the roles and competencies of doctors than towards the subjects involved. Many of those recommendations were taken up in the “Master Plan for Medicine Degree Courses 2020”. An independent expert commission appointed by the WR has drawn up recommendations for implementing the Master Plan.
For other healthcare professions, such as nursing, obstetrics and therapeutical professions, the WR has recommended that further developments be initiated, in particular greater academisation. The target set by the WR of 10 to 20 percent of academisation per year of study has been well received in public debates.
In German only:
Empfehlungen zu hochschulischer Weiterbildung als Teil des lebenslangen Lernens - Vierter Teil der Empfehlungen zur Qualifizierung von Fachkräften vor dem Hintergrund des demographischen Wandels (Drs. 7515-19), Januar 2019
Empfehlungen zur Gewinnung, Integration und Qualifizierung internationaler Studierender - Dritter Teil der Empfehlungen zur Qualifizierung von Fachkräften vor dem Hintergrund des demographischen Wandels (Drs. 5437-16), Juli 2016
Empfehlungen zum Verhältnis von Hochschulbildung und Arbeitsmarkt - Zweiter Teil der Empfehlungen zur Qualifizierung von Fachkräften vor dem Hintergrund des demographischen Wandels (Drs. 4925-15), Oktober 2015
Empfehlungen zum Verhältnis von beruflicher und akademischer Bildung - Erster Teil der Empfehlungen zur Qualifizierung von Fachkräften vor dem Hintergrund des demographischen Wandels (Drs. 3818-14), April 2014