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Digitalization of Education – The How and Why of Lifelong Learning

Research Results Concerning Online-Further Education in Tourism. Significance – Expectation – Utilisation

Lars Rettig

More and more parts of our lives are being digitally enriched. The field of education is no exception. The learning and working worlds are changing, and therefore also the requirements for education, continuing education and further education. At the same time, the period in which knowledge is up-to-date is ever shorter. Thus the ability to do Lifelong Learning is not only decisive for the success of the individual, but also for the sustainable existence of companies, economic sectors and whole regions/destinations. On the basis of psychological, pedagogical and economical concepts the author deals with the How and Why of learning. Based on this he investigates the significance of Online-Further Education in Tourism by means of qualitative expert interviews.

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6 Education and Further Education in Tourism

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6.1 Academic Education in Tourism

In the winter semester 2014/15, the number of study places awarded to tourism study programs in Germany amounted to a total of 8,794 enrolled students in tourism management courses.1 5.9% of them were studying at the Master’s level.2 Approximately 81% of the students were female.3 Looking at the development of students in the tourism management study program over a longer period, two aspects became clear. On the one hand, the academic education in tourism management has shifted to the universities of applied sciences. The universities are gradually withdrawing from tourism management study programs.4 On the other hand, the number of students in the field of tourism is growing steadily. However, the increase is not linear, but rather shows declining growth rates. The increase in registered students from 2007 to 2008 was 34.6%, in absolute numbers, +1,163 students. From 2013 to 2014, it was 5.6%, in absolute numbers, +452 students.5 One reason for this could be the conversion of the courses ← 59 | 60 → to the more quickly achievable Bachelor’s degree (usually completed after three years of undergraduate study) and Master’s (usually completed after a two-year postgraduate study period), which was carried out within the framework of the European Education reformation (Bologna Process).6

In addition to the basic courses offered, universities of applied sciences and higher education institutions are able to provide Lifelong Learning at the most up-to-date level of science and research by means of advanced Master’s...

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