Nursing, therapeutic and midwifery sciences: universities demand sole responsibility for academic degree programmes

15. November 2017

What is the next step in the academisation of the paramedical professions? The General Assembly of the German Rectors' Conference (HRK) yesterday in Potsdam named key points for the development of academic degree programmes in the nursing, therapeutic and midwifery sciences. For a portion of those employed in the paramedical professions, the general belief (including that of the German Council of Science and Humanities) is that a higher education qualification is necessary because developments in healthcare create increasingly high requirements for qualifications.

The HRK calls for universities to be solely responsible for the design and implementation of primary qualifying academic degree programmes in order to ensure their solid academic foundations. This would need to be accompanied by reform of the laws governing the professions. “The laws governing the professions in part still date from the 70s and are tailored to training at vocational schools,” HRK President Prof Dr Horst Hippler said today in Berlin. “This is a matter for the legislature. The legislative reforms are also necessary in order to safeguard the international mobility of students.”

“Under the laws governing professions, practical components are a prerequisite in order to use certain professional titles and practice certain professions,” HRK Vice-President for Medical Studies in Higher Education and Health Sciences Prof Dr Johanna Weber explained. Dr Weber played a leading role in preparing the key points. “However, in the existing academic degree programmes with training components, these practical components often fail to meet higher education standards, partly because the staff lack academic qualifications.”  

The HRK also believes it is necessary for independent academic disciplines to develop in parallel with the establishment of the academic degree programmes, and for these disciplines to be supported by systematic research funding. In the case of clinically-based academic degree programmes, a cooperation arrangement with university hospitals and academic teaching hospitals should be a matter of course.   

Text of the resolution