HRK rejects “Vocational Bachelor” and “Vocational Master” as qualification designations

13. March 2019

Qualification designations must be unambiguous and informative. Designations such as the “Berufsbachelor” (vocational bachelor) or “Berufsmaster” (vocational master) which the Federal Minister of Education and Research wishes to introduce in vocational education, do not meet these criteria.

This was emphasised by the Senate of the German Rectors' Conference (HRK) in Berlin yesterday. The Senate's rejection was a reiteration of previous statements by the HRK President directed towards the Minister and the Federal Chancellor, on plans in the context of an amendment to the Berufsbildungsgesetz (Vocational Training Act). The Senate noted that the planned designations would give rise to misunderstandings in the European context in particular, since bachelor’s and master's degrees are awarded exclusively by higher education institutions. It added that other unclear designations such as “Professional Bachelor” or “Professional Master” should also be avoided for the same reason.

“Universities do not question the equal value of qualifications from vocational training and universities qualifications,” HRK President Alt told the press today in Berlin. “However, the use of academic designations for qualifications for a different educational pathway creates obfuscation and confusion. Informative, unambiguous designations are needed for vocational orientation for young people, for job advertisements and in staff recruitment. The goal has to be good visibility of the vocational qualification in order to promote mobility and opportunities in the labour market. As universities, our experience with the Diploma Supplement in the context of the Europass has been positive. We have offered to support vocational education in further developing the existing certificate supplements as part of the Europass.”

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