Amendment of the Vocational Training Act

Resolution of the 141st Senate of the German Rectors’ Conference

The comments of the Senate of the German Rectors’ Conference (HRK) on the current debate on the amendment of the Berufsbildungsgesetz (Vocational Training Act, BBiG) are as follows:

The universities have repeatedly and emphatically expressed their commitment to the equal value of vocational and academic education and formulated their interest in strong vocational education. In the light of this, it is incomprehensible from the universities’ perspective that a strengthening of vocational education should be achieved by the assumption of degree designations from the academic area (Vocational Bachelor/Vocational Master or Bachelor/Master Professional).

This is counter-productive in every respect. It weakens the autonomy of vocational education, creates uncertainty for businesses and job seekers due to the risk of confusion, breaches the legal requirement for unambiguous designations of qualifications and thereby also interferes with the responsibilities of the federal states. Internationally, too, this provides no increased transparency about qualifications from vocational education, since throughout Europe the qualifications “Bachelor” and “Master” are exclusively awarded by higher education institutions.

The HRK therefore most emphatically requests that those responsible at the Federal level refrain from the planned amendment of the BBiG. The universities have had positive experiences with clarifying their degrees through the Diploma Supplement, and would be pleased to support vocational education in further developing the Europass for their qualifications. In this way the transparency of German vocational education could be improved across Europe and mobility further increased.