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Opening and Extending Vocational Education

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Edited By Philipp Eigenmann, Philipp Gonon and Markus Weil

Vocational education has been opened up and extends to various directions: Higher education tends to take on vocational education models. Vice versa, vocational education development partially follows the structures of higher education. In addition, informal learning and recognition of competences widen the perspectives on vocational education. This book highlights a variety of developments and analyses from countries like Australia, Germany, Spain, Switzerland, South Africa, India, Ukraine and the United States, but also from a more global perspective. It reveals that regardless of national pathways a new shape of vocational education and educational provision with a specific focus on vocations, workplace and learning is emerging.

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The Challenges of Combining Scientific and Vocational Education. The Case of a New Tertiary Dual-Study Degree in Switzerland: (Philipp Eigenmann)

PHILIPP EIGENMANN

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Abstract: Since 2014, Swiss Universities of Applied Sciences (UAS) have been allowed to develop bachelor programmes in the technical sector with a reasonable share of practical workplace learning in contracted companies. These study programmes, called PiBS (“praxisintegriertes Bachelor-Studium”), offer an optimized transition route from a baccalaureate to a UAS. This contribution is based on data collected during an evaluation of a PiBS programme at a UAS in Switzerland. Interviews were conducted with representatives from participating companies, PiBS students and representatives from the higher education institution. The evaluation showed that the PiBS study programme is widely accepted among all involved actors. It opens up vocational education options for baccalaureates, and it reflects the curricular expansion for vocationalism in applied higher education. However, a key challenge associated with this initiative is that, in general, larger companies are more likely to engage in PiBS study programmes. Small and medium-sized enterprises have minimum involvement.

Keywords: applied higher education, vocationalism, workplace learning, scientific education, Switzerland

The knowledge economy calls for skilled workers who can cope with practical problems arising during the work process using theoretical knowledge or research-related methods. The central type of this skilled worker is the professional (Stichweh, 2006; Wolter, 2015). Although the demand for professionalization is not a new phenomenon, it is currently being emphasized in relation to skill formation systems. ←187 | 188→Post-compulsory training courses are increasingly positioned explicitly at the intersection between science and the world of work. They offer study programmes that are neither limited...

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