Arbeitskreis Universitäre Erwachsenenbbildung/Hochschule und Weiterbildung

Albert Kommer, Gernot Graeßner, Ernst Prokop

University Continuing Education in Germany

National Report


1.1. Introduction

1.1.1. Definitions

Neglecting the historical and social conditions for reasons of space, the terms "Erwachsenbildung" (adult education) and "Weiterbildung" (continuing education), which are generally used in Germany, may be distinguished according to their prevailing orientation: while adult education proceeds from people's interests, continuing education emphasizes the function of education, that is the qualification for systems, and especially for the system of employment. On the other hand, the equal importance of "Identitätslernen" (learning directed at forming identity) and "Qualifikationslernen" (learning directed at gaining qualifications) is stressed and hence a sharp division is neither theoretically nor practically possible.

In regard to universities, the pair of terms recurs in "Universitäre Erwachsenenbildung" (university adult education) and "wissenschaftliche Weiterbildung" (scientific continuing education), while implying a further differentiation bearing upon the institution (university) or contents (science) respectively. Current discussion focuses on the term continuing education, partly applying it synonymously with adult education. Asking for the specific character of the continuing education provided by universities, the historically older institutional definition was extended by aspects concerning contents as well as with regard to typical target groups.

The following explanations concerning definitions on continuing education provided by universities have generally two intentions and aspects: firstly they aim at systematically seizing the existing practice, secondly they try to point out conceptions with regard to further developments and arrangements. These two procedures of striking the balance and outlining the perspectives are overlapping in some areas and have a reciprocal relationship.

Of special importance are those definitions which pass into law and hence may be regarded as indications of the increasing social importance of the area in question. In regard to the continuing education provided by universities, the wording of the law took heed of the practical activities already going on at the time of the legal fixation as well as of the conceptions of expert groups and associations from science and continuing education that were consulted during the legislation procedure. It can be generally noted that continuing education always received its impetus towards further development from outside the universities. The elements relevant to this will be summarized in the section on the historical development.

In this context, the country's federal structure has to be taken into account. There are 16 federal states, each with its own state government. Overriding political issues are determined by the federal government. The state governments are chiefly responsible for legislation and administration, in particular regarding education and science ("Kulturhoheit der Länder"). The sphere of competence of the federal government above all relates to the legislative framework governing the general principles.

The Higher Education Framework Act (HRG, "Hochschulrahmengesetz") passed in 1976 pronounced that scientific continuing education is a task to be implemented by the institutions of the system of higher education, thus exceeding their traditional tasks of research and lecturing.

According to § 2, para. 4 (HRG) continuing education refers to three field

                1. development and supply of continuing education courses of stud
                2. participation in events of continuing educatio
                3. advancement of continuing education of the university staff

The HRG does not distinguish different types of higher education institutions. Thus the charge of continuing education is likewise valid for the universities and "Fachhochschulen". The current German term "Hochschule", which designates all the various institutions of higher education, has no direct equivalent in the English language and thus will be simply referred to by the term "university."

The amendments to the Higher Education Acts of the States largely took over the regulations of the HRG, so that they came into effect there as well.

The HRG makes distinctions between continuing education courses of study and other forms of advanced studies like additional, complementary and further studies. The latter ones have in common that they generally link up directly with a first degree without an interval of professional experience. Contrary to that, continuing education courses of study are characterized by addressing those who come from professional practice and wish to stay in their jobs during their studies. These comprise side-line courses focusing on the scientific extension, the deepening of understanding and the reflection of experiences from professional life. As a precondition for participation, professional experience in roughly the same field which the course covers is necessary. On principle, attendance is open to participants without an academic degree.

The supply of courses is supposed to consist of coherent, compact sections with due regard to the requirements arising from the participants' professional practice.

In actual practice, the boundaries between the different courses of the universities are overlapping. A pragmatic, general definition for this has been established: "With regard to functional aspects, those courses are summarized as scientific continuing education which provide a framework of organized learning for participants after a primary qualifying professional degree (usually a university degree but also qualified vocational training) or a phase of professional practice and which are organized according to the demands of the target groups as far as both contents and didactic methods as well as time capacities are concerned." (Schreier 1993)

"Scientific continuing education basically serves the aim of scientifically supporting the capacities which the participants have professionally developed, of extending them, giving them fresh impetus and preparing the ground for tackling new tasks." ("Hochschulrektorenkonferenz" [HRK], [conference of university presidents] 1993, p. 10)

Before the outline of current definitions and fields of continuing education is presented in the following, it has to be emphasized once again that the boundaries between pre-career studies, advanced studies and continuing education studies are increasingly losing in rigidity as a consequence of the increasing number of individuals who change their learning patterns. From the point of view of one particular participant, for instance, a pre-career course of study may completely or partly function as continuing education, while courses labelled as continuing education from the providers' (the universities') point of view may completely or partly serve the purpose of pre-career studies for the client, etc. These are tendencies which are not (yet) reflected in the official statistics available on the numbers of participants and graduates. They are, however, quite plausible effects of on-going changes within society (e.g. concerning the ways in which knowledge accelerates and becomes obsolete and [professional] careers fragmentize), which in turn liven up the educational system, especially in post-secondary areas of the universities and continuing education even if the practical integration of these developments into their institutions is retarded by the slow motion characteristic of the bureaucratic machinery. Moreover, there is a dynamic character inherent to continuing education due to its closeness to current developments, which obviously leads to an intermediate degree of systematization with regard to both institution and contents.

In the following, essential aspects of currently existing aims and tasks as well as forms of provisions in the field of continuing education by universities are sketched with regard to definitions. Current aims may be summarized as an opening in two respects: an opening for problems in society and an opening for new target groups in the sense of a reciprocal action in the conflicting relation between theory and practice. Actions and intentions linked to these openings are on the one hand directed at the universities themselves and are meant to open up and convey existing resources and to develop innovative concepts and provisions for continuing education. On the other hand, they address the surroundings of the universities and possible target groups of continuing education.

How and to what extend these aims can be put into practice in concrete tasks depends upon various factors, as, for instance, concerning the personnel and financial equipment of an institution. In general there is a broad spectrum of tasks ranging from provisions directed at supply to those rather responding to demands. A sharp distinction between these two types is neither possible nor does it make sense as they rather signify a point of departure of developments and form a complementary relation of mediation and development.

1.1.2. Historical introduction

In a historical context, continuing education at universities appears as a marginal factor. Even if the 19th century already showed first beginnings, they were up to the recent past restricted to very few isolated cases that never led to any institutional regulation worth mentioning.

After 1945 one can distinguish two lines of development, which form the basis for today’s situation. The first of these includes the efforts to launch extra-mural activities of the universities, which already started shortly after the war. The second line of development refers to the beginnings of contact studies, which have been going on since the mid-sixties.

Continuing education at universities received fresh impetus after the Second World War by including the universities in the re-education and democratization programmes of the British occupying powers. Here it was the liberal adult education of the extra-mural departments of British universities that served as a model. In the middle of the fifties "auswärtige Seminarkurse" (extra-mural courses) started at the University of Göttingen. This branch of continuing education still exists and has been further developed.

Since the middle of the sixties an additional argument has occurred in favour of extending the qualifications and responsibilities relevant to an individual’s profession. In 1966 the "Wissenschaftsrat" recommended that universities should develop special programmes for contact studies (continuing education for graduates) so that "those at work in their professions can return to university and can be included in its scientific life." The general goal can be described as the continuous updating of education, training and qualification. Consideration has also been given to the question of reducing the length of the undergraduate studies and the relatively advanced age at the time of graduation. The term "recurrent education" was introduced in the sixties. The model of recurrent education as an idea to reduce pre-career studies to the function of providing a general foundation of knowledge, whereas continuing education was supposed to serve the required specialization advocated by the OECD and other bodies for more than two decades is recently regaining support.

As "Kontaktstellen für wissenschaftliche Weiterbildung" (places of contact for scientific continuing education) were increasingly established in the early seventies implementing the suggestions made in the "Bildungsgesamtplan" (complete plan of education), scientific continuing education received further stimulation. Being further developed from the extra-mural approach, the "Bildungsgesamtplan" was based upon the conception of a further "Demokratisierung" (democratization). Reforms of the educational system were to help to bring it about by opening up better chances of gaining access to science and to the universities. At this point in time the two tasks that the universities carried out - even if still reluctantly and without legal fixation - were contact studies and university adult education. In this phase the "Arbeitskreis Universitäre Erwachsenenbildung" (AUE) was founded, which led to a concentration of the so far scattered activities and hence to a common basis for exchange of experience and discussions on a national level. This organization, which has been politically engaged with regard to education and universities as a registered non-profit association since 1970, formulated and still formulates recommendations and expert opinions on scientific continuing education from both the practical experience of its members and concrete results yielded by model-schemes and research projects: "The aim of the association is the supra-regional promotion, co-ordination and representation of continuing education carried out by universities."

The intensification of continuing education activities of the universities and its ensuing increasing esteem corresponded to the integration of this field into the phase of a beginning reform of education. This signified the introduction of active governmental university politics on federal and state levels and led to the passing into law of the HRG and the amendment of the university-laws of the states (cf. section 1.1.1.). Since the mid-seventies the "Bund-Länder-Kommission für Bildungsplanung und Forschungsförderung" (commission of federation and states for education plans and research support) supported numerous model-schemes for the development, testing and implementation of continuing education courses of study. Also, the federal ministry for education and science supported projects for the research and development of different approaches of continuing education and for the organization of "Kontaktstellen für wissenschaftliche Weiterbildung" at different universities.

Since 1982 the universities have received numerous opinions, demand and recommendations to fulfil the task of continuing education more clearly and to grant it larger space. The recommendations by the "Westdeutsche Rektorenkonferenz" (WRK) (conference of West-german university presidents) and the "Fachhochschulenrektorenkonferenz" of the year 1982 and those of the "Wissenschaftsrat" (board of science) (1983) were followed, for instance, by the declarations and comments of the WRK and of the "Bundesvereinigung der deutschen Arbeitgeberverbände" (federal union of German employers' associations) concerning vocational scientific continuing education (1989), of the WRK and the "Deutscher Gewerkschaftsbund" (DGB) (German federation of trade unions) (1990), of the "Bund-Länder-Kommission für Bildungsplanung und Forschungsförderung" (BLK) concerning universities and continuing education (1990) and concerning scientific continuing education at the universities of the new federal states after the re-unification (1992).

The Federal Minister of Education and Science and - since 1994 - also of Research and Technology called into being the "konzertierte Aktion Weiterbildung" (KAW) (concerted action continuing education), under whose roof all relevant associations of continuing education and the organizations of society supporting them are gathered. The "Arbeitskreis wissenschaftliche Weiterbildung" (working group scientific continuing education) of the KAW has investigated the urgency of scientific continuing education by universities and has passed several recommendations and comments since the year 1990. The importance and urgency of scientific continuing education with the university as both a responsible body and also contributor is uncontested. There is also a general consensus concerning the reasons for this, which can be summarized as follows (Lullies/Berning, 1990):

1.1.3.Outline of the Higher Education system in Germany (Source:M.Gardner,1995)

Institutional Framework

To appreciate the institutional framework of higher education in Germany, it is necessary to understand the country’s federal structure. Including the new Eastern states there are now 16 federal states, each with its own state government. Overriding political issues are determined by the Federal Government. However, in accordance with the Basic Law, it is the state governments that are chiefly responsible for legislation and administration with regard to education and science.

Federal government competences relate above all to the legislative framework governing the general principles of higher education, financial support measures, the promotion of research and junior research staff, training in the medical professions, training of legal experts and international relations.

The vast majority of Germany’s higher education institutions are public funded. Only a handful are privately run. Privately financed institutions that are recognised by the state receive additional government support. there are no fees at public funded institutions.The annual budgets for the public funded institutions are provided by the federal states. They pay established staff salaries directly, which account fro 70 to 80 percent of the overall budget of higher education institutions. Other expenditures, recurrent funds for teaching and research, are most ate the discretion of institutions. To a degree, funds can be transferred from one budget head to another in this area. But institutions do not enjoy general budgetary sovereignty.

The Federal Government supports higher education in a number of areas, and through varies agencies and legal provisions. Its participation in funding is based largely on a 1969 constitutional amendment that extended legislative powers to „the regulation of educational and training grants and the promotion of scientific research". It also stipulated that the Federal government should participate in the „extension and construction of institutions of higher education including universities clinics" together with the state governments in the framework of „Gemeinschaftsaufgaben" (joint tasks). The latter include educational planning and support for research institutions and projects of supraregional importance.1994 the two departments of Education and Science and Research and Technology were merged into a new „super ministry" of education, science, research and technology (BMBWFT). This new ministry is now responsible for the tasks of sponsoring the construction on new buildings and student halls of residence, providing support for new blood and finding higher education research, coordinating federal government support for research, and providing direct support for a number of research and development ventures.

1957 the Science Council („Wissenschaftsrat") was established, a panel of government, higher education and public representatives that was to have a crucial influence on higher education and research matters in later years. The sixties saw the establishment of a number of new universities, including Hagen Correspondence University. New buildings were erected, and more staff, in particular at sub-professoral level, were recruited.

Higher education was also recognised as an important factor in the improvement of regional structures. For one thing, setting up institutions in predominantly rural areas was a contribution to compensation for existing regional inequalities. secondly, this was perceived as a crucial to structural changes taking place in the big industrial conurbations, first and foremost the Ruhr region. Higher education institutions could give an important impulse to new industries emerging in these regions, notably in the service sector.In 1970 an entirely new type of institution, the „Fachhochschule", emerged on the basis of engineering colleges and higher specialised colleges in response to industry’s and society’s altered requirements of qualified staff.

Admission and Degrees

Universities, technical universities and the „technische Hochschulen", which in effect are also universities but merely bear a different name, offer the „Diplom" or M.A. (Magister Artium) as academic degree. Theses degrees are organised by the individual higher institutions themselves .In addition, undergraduates at these institutions can take their „first state exams" for academic civil service occupations. Sate exams are regulated either on a federal or a federal state basis.

Graduates in the latter area, comprising mostly teacher training, law and various medical courses, subsequently take up practical training of various types. For example, candidates for the second State Examination undergo inservice training at schools or with legal authorities. Graduates who have taken their first State Examination, Diplom or M.A. can do a PhD. However, unlike the other two degrees, the first State Examination does not count as a vocational qualification.

Universities demand a general higher school certificate acquired at a grammar school after 13 years at school as the basic admission requirement (Abitur, Allgemeine Hochschulzugangsberechtingung). Admission to Fachhochschulen is on the basis of a final certificate at a senior technical school, acquired after twelve years at school. There are also opportunities for the gainfully employed to acquire higher school or senior technical school certificates at evening schools, special courses and other facilities. Finally, schemes have been introduced to admit skilled craftsmen to higher education courses on the basis of special tests.Registration for a chosen course of studies is usually at a higher education institution itself. In some cases where the numbers of applicants by far exceeds the number of available places to study, admission restrictions are imposed. Special selection procedures are in force for human and veterinary medicine as well as dental surgery.

The Fachhochschulen (FH) were conceived to provide comparatively short courses leading to qualifications such as „graduated engineers", with the emphasis in courses on a theoretical background plus a strong orientation on the application of acquired knowledge. „Graduated" has been replaced by „FH-Diplom". The involvement of the FH in research - again in an applied context - only represents a minor aspect among other activities. FH do not have the right to award doctorates. A FH-degree as attractive because it can be acquired within a shorter time than a university degree, and it tends to tally more with the day to day requirements of the labour market. On the other hand , in a number of vocational fields, FH-graduates must make do with poorer salaries and are denied access to senior positions. For these graduates, further qualification at a university is a tedious and drawn out venture.In effect, Germany’s higher education system has a rigid binary divide, with FH offering application-oriented courses terminated in a first degree, and universities providing full qualifications for an academic career.

It mussed be stressed however, that the original idea was to integrate the FH in another new type of institution, the comprehensive university („Gesamthochschule"), and thus ensure facilities for a further qualification of the FH graduates. The first comprehensive university was also opened in 1970. By 1975, there were eleven comprehensive universities. The Higher Education Framework Act (HRG), passed 1976, stipulated that wherever possible, study courses were to be combined to form this type of university. The act was also supposed to provide a framework for higher education structures in the individual federal states. But the integration FH and university courses had no impact on further developments. In the 1985 amendment of the HRG, the section on comprehensive universities was simply deleted. All of the comprehensive universities have changed their original names, now calling themselves „university and comprehensive university". But they do still offer two types of higher education within one institution.

1.1.4. Profile of current provisions and target groups of UCE

The following elaboration is based upon two studies carried out in 1994 and in 1996 by the AUE, in which the situation of continuing education in Germany was investigated (Graeßner, Lischka, 1994; Kommer/Graeßner, 1997, in preparation). The problem of in-service training of university staff will not be an issue here, neither was it one in the investigation of 1996. In 1994 this area rated at 17.6% of the provisions covered in the study. It can be assumed that provisions for technical and administrative staff take the main share in this. In Germany, activities for the pedagogical qualification of the teaching staff are provided by "Hochschuldidaktische Zentren" (centres for the didactic in universities). Moreover, organizations of continuing education offer special activities for the teaching staff in the area of continuing education.

Both studies have the result in common that there is a clear domination of post experience vocational continuing education. In 1996 vocational continuing education courses were stated as forms of provision by 81% of the respondents. This corresponds almost exactly (81.3%) to the share of "Lehrgänge und Kurse" (courses, seminars) of short duration in the case of modes of provision.

It can be concluded from this that the main part of continuing education supplied by universities consists in rather short professional training courses for updating and extending qualifications and competence. It is hardly possible to make out exactly to what extend these also form single elements of a continuing education course of study provided in the mode of a modular programme with the possibility of individually shaping its sequences and elements and credit accumulation. A certain probability of this, however, can be interpreted from the responses that also state vocational continuing education courses of study (54%) and corresponding part-time studies (38%), and long-term programmes (61%) with regard to the modes of provision.

In 42% of the responses there were stated activities in the field of liberal adult education, special seminars and other forms of knowledge dissemination to adults, i.e. the general public. The absolute figures found can, of course, be neither regarded without certain restrictions (in reality they are probably bigger) nor are they statistically secured parameters because of the different conceptions of the investigations, and yet they reflect a clear tendency towards a steady and considerable increase of the number of both activities and participants (AUE 1983, HIS 1987, AUE 1994, the year dates refer to the times of the polls).





(without "neue Bundesländer")



The profile of the universities regarding continuing education is essentially characterized by the target groups at which the provisions are directed. There can be made a general distinction between individuals and institutions. In 1996 the main share of the individuals are professionals, as the following survey shows:

The general public is stated by 32%, while further 19% are given for special groups and 11% for unemployed persons.

In the case of institutions, 23% state organizations from industry- and commerce and 13% mention associations and bodies (e.g. trade unions, churches, public administrations, institutions of continuing education etc.).

It can be assumed that the provisions directed at institutions tend to be tailor-made for professional practice, giving consideration to specific and concrete problems that may arise here, while the activities directed at individuals will rather deal with general problems of the profession in question and with the transfer of the results into application within the process of continuing education on a strategic and operational level.

In addition to the differentiation referring to the orientation at either supply or demand already stated, then, there can be systematically made a further distinction concerning target groups and their orientation at persons or institutions respectively. In 1990 Teichler assessed the expected trend as a compromise between expected distinctions and solutions: the solution could be a clear segmentation of functions and target groups, whereby each task and each clientele is addressed through tailor-made provisions. The opposite solution would be a generalization process, e.g. the merger of as many target groups and functions into a setting which served all of them more or less equally well.

Taking marketing aspects for the services of the universities into consideration, there can be sketched two different approaches with their strategically and organizationally different consequences: commercialization of efforts of the universities on the sector of services, mainly by means of counselling in the field of development of personnel, or commercialization of activities on the sector of continuing education by means of continuing courses of study and other forms and modes of provisions.

In practice, these kinds of strict demarcations can be hardly maintained, since changes in technology have effects on the organization of labour and hence also on the development of vocational qualifications. Continuing education and the transfer of technology, research and consultancy services are different types of links between institutions of higher education and society, with specific aims and tasks on the one hand. On the other, they are overlapping in some segments and their relation can be characterized as complementary. For this reason it will be of vital importance for the further development of continuing education at universities how they shape their relation (as far as both organisation and content are concerned) to other forms of the transfer of science and technology and vice versa. There are some approaches in Germany that try to combine these two forms with respect to both organization and content.

1.2. Organizational arrangement (types

1.2.1. Types internal to the universities

There are different organisational ways in which continuing education is realized at universities.

Within the universities there is a spectrum ranging from facilitities on a central level ("Zentrale wissenschaftliche Einrichtungen und Betriebseinheiten" [centre for continuing education], "Referaten, Abteilungen, Stabsstellen in der Hochschulleitung und -verwaltung" [departments in headship]) to those of "Fachbereiche, Institute" (faculties, departments) on a de-central level. Additionally, there are in some cases "Rektorats- und Fachbereichsbeauftragte" (persons in charge of continuing education in the headship and the departments). There is a rising number of private-law forms of organization like "An-Institute, Akademien, Vereine" with different legal forms ("eingetragener, gemeinnütziger Verein", Gesellschaft mit beschränkter Haftung") that the universities are institutionally linked to in different ways.

The following will provide a survey of the development and the present situation.

The central facilities of the universities have by far the strongest weight, whose development since 1984 is expressed by the following figures (the criteria being the explicit naming of continuing education as a task and staff responsible for its realization):

1984: » 34
1988: » 60
1992: » 90
1996: » 110

In 1996 there existed approx. 70 institutions organized according to private law and connected to the universities in the way shown above. They often exist additionally to the central facilities of the universities and are closely linked to them.

It has to be especially underlined that 10 universities possess central facilities in charge of continuing education and "Fernstudium" (distance education/study). Furthermore, some universities have organizationally merged both transfer of technology and consultancy services and continuing education.

1.2.2. Co-operative types

There are several co-operative forms of organization on both regional and supra-regional levels, in which the universities function as a partner. As examples may suffice "Kooperationsstellen Hochschule und Gewerkschaft" (co-operation with trade unions), "Kooperationsverbund Hochschule und Wirtschaft" (co-operation with industry and commerce), "Regionale Wissenschaftszentren" (centres for science in the region) and other groups and agencies.

1.2.3. Types external to universities

Since universities do not possess a monopoly of scientific continuing education, there are other institutions of the sector of continuing education which offer courses, as do, for instance, "Weiterbildungsabteilungen von Unternehmen" (departments for continuing education in enterprises) and "Bildungswerke" of trade unions, industry and commerce, churches, academies, vocational associations, scientific societies etc. (cf. 1.8.) Section 2 will include a presentation of the connection between internal and external co-operative relations and forms of management and types of organizations as well as an exemplary account of different models for solution.

1.3. Programmes

1.3.1. Subject range

AUE's poll of 1996 inquired about the contents of continuing education. The following survey provides the percentages of the responses:

1.3.2 Format range

Survey of the findings of AUE study of 1996 (modes of provision)

Here it has to be noted that the categories were formed according to diverging criteria (temporal duration, organizational structure, method). Exact classifications of belonging to a single category or blending of several cannot be made. It can be assumed, however, that parts of short-term courses are organizationally and methodically integrated into modular system and distance study.

1.4. Quality

1.4.1. Context

A debate about how to safe-guard the quality of continuing education has been going on for 20 years and gained fresh impetus at the beginning of the nineties with the generally low/strained public budgets, caused by economic recession, a turn towards new concepts of management and production as well as events on the market that were characterized by increasing international competition.

The field of continuing education, distinguished by tangled relations and plurality anyway, also became a focus for the efforts to reorganization which dealt with new ways of determining, ascertaining and optimizing the performances of continuing education.

Manifold concepts for quality guarantee were brought about, with that for vocational continuing education on the basis of the internationally respected series of standards DIN EN ISO 9000 ff. clearly standing out against other models, as it is favoured and supported by industry and commerce, especially since the foundation of the society for certification CERTQUA.

Suspecting that a certification according to ISO-standards might endanger or even substitute other forms of quality guarantee (criteria for recognition of the state, quality guarantee by criteria and responsibility of one's own) and hence put into question the existence of the organization, many institutions of continuing education started to investigate the work of standards also outside the vocational sector. As a result the concept of "ISO 9000 Plus" has been found to make sense for continuing education: making use of the positive elements there are to be developed new criteria for the quality of the product, aiming at a seal of quality in the sense of a "Deutscher Weiterbildungsqualität" (DWG) (German quality of continuing education).

Since in 1995 the HRK passed its decision "Zur Evaluation im Hochschulbereich unter besonderer Berücksichtigung der Lehre" demanding the development and implementation of systems to guarantee quality in order to safe-guard a minimal standard of courses of study and graduations, this subject has become an urgent and explosive issue at the universities as well. This is especially true for continuing education, because universities take part in the market of continuing education with their provisions of scientific continuing education, and thus must not exclude themselves from the current discussions about quality and quality management, if they want to remain competitive on the market. It is certainly not a question of following a trend dictated from outside and unreservedly accepting formalized systems of control (as for instance those according to the ISO-standards), since the definition and control of quality should never be the task of one sole group in society. The universities should rather take an offensive in the discussion, which can be easily linked to the debate on the structure of the universities and the quality of lecturing going on for years, for two reasons: on the one hand to consolidate scientific continuing education as such and its structural integration on an internal basis; and on the other to demonstrate externally that they provide competent partners with their institutions of scientific continuing education, that are capable of making specific contributions to solving current problems in society.

1.4.2. Credentials: certificates and degrees

In view of the diversity of suppliers on the market of continuing education, on which the universities compete with their provisions of continuing education, the question of certification also becomes one of profile formation, of quality control and safe-guarding and of the transparency of value for the clients of scientific continuing education.

Current practice is characterized by a high degree of diffusion and non-obligation. Different certificates, for instance, are attributed to comparable provisions, while the same are issued for quite dissimilar courses. Systematically, the current forms can be presented by the following three types: acknowledgements, certificates and formal degrees/diplomas, the latter being a rare exception. According to recommendations of the HRK, the participation at courses of scientific continuing education should be attested by certificates or acknowledgements. The issuing of formal degrees or diploma should be restricted to very special cases and be reserved for genuine courses of study of continuing education that are conducted according to formal regulations of study and examinations. This recommendation of the HRK is meant to prevent a confusion between degrees for pre-career studies and those for continuing education studies. On principle, it is an issue agreed upon to some degree, but it is also criticized as counterproductive to the efforts of attaining more flexibility in the structures and forms of study and degrees within the frame of a strategy for "recurrent education" or "lifelong education." A new system of certification seems indispensable for this aim, in which various certificates could indicate intermediate levels in between the old major levels of attainments, hence including better chances of reaching higher levels of attainment by accumulating knowledge and certificates.

Against this rather long-term perspective the current problem of scientific continuing education can be summarized as follows: the extremely complex character of continuing education calls for more openness and flexibility in the structure of certification. The necessary classification of continuing education within the universities themselves and especially its positioning on the market of continuing education require forms of certification that are discernible, easy to legitimate and on a medium-term accepted by the universities and society. For this reason, AUE has produced a "Tableau Zertifikat" and suggested it as a form of orientation on this complex field (cf. section 2 for further details).

1.4.3. Quality control and evaluation

In the current discussion there is a general consensus amongst all parties acting on the field of continuing education by universities as far as the necessity of quality control and of the further development of suitable methods of quality management are concerned. The problems discussed, however, refer to the concepts from the economics that are propagated as innovative, but which prove hardly applicable for the complicated and complex questions of quality in education and continuing education. Indeed, against the conceptions and procedures already practised for a long time in pedagogics and summarized under the heading "evaluation", they appear as a relapse to naiveté and as unduly reducing given complexities. It is estimated especially problematic to equalize quality and certification as is the case in ISO 9000, since this does not formally certify the product quality of a service rendered, in this case that of continuing education; what it does acknowledge is only the process of its production, hence its process quality. On the other hand, the importance of the approach of total quality management for scientific continuing education is recognized as well. Process orientation is regarded as an important aspect for the advancing synchronization of the process of business of the centre of continuing education of the university with the process of learning and transference of the participants. Similar importance is attributed to the inclusion of the criteria of product quality, which refer to the specific content (science) and an appropriate didactic and methodical structure.

A first outline of principles and procedures for such a quality management has been given. It does not include accreditations by external authorities, since they are not regarded appropriate. Rather, the facilities of continuing education at universities should establish a system for quality guarantee in a joint process, considering the following steps of development: documenting existing concepts and instruments, making new demands on the quality of scientific continuing education, developing of criteria for quality and methods for evaluation, elaborating a mutual model of process for a system of quality guarantee (criteria of superior quality, methods and instruments). The process should be organized and carried out according to a peer-principle. (Approaches and procedures of quality management will be given in further detail in section 2 ).

1.5. Financial arrangements

Context and foundation

Apart form very few exceptions, the institutions of higher education are funded by public means. Hence there are no fees charged for pre-career and undergraduate studies. For two reasons the question of the financing of continuing education becomes virulent: first of all, the capacity of teaching is not big enough to cover continuing education courses by the regular teaching load. In this respect, pre-career studies enjoy priorities. Consequently, there have to be provided special incentives in order to attain a broad basis of participation from the teaching staff. Furthermore, increasingly restrictive politics of public budgets aggravate tendencies that are directed at compensating for this loss by producing additional funds.

On the other hand, it is irreconcilable with the law of competition to generally provide continuing education free of charges, so that the universities will normally have to charge the beneficiaries. There are, however, provisions that are not subject to the law of competition. These are provisions that would not be realized at all without public subsidies, since fees covering all costs would not produce any demand, so that they would not be put on the market by other suppliers for the impossibility of covering their costs. Provisions that overlap with those of other suppliers fall under the law of competition and will hence include charging fees orientated at market prices.

A general distinction has to be made between "öffentlich-rechtliche Gebühren" (fees under public law) and "privatrechtliche Entgelte" (fees under private law). Charging "Gebühren" requires a relation of beneficiaries that is publicly directed. In these cases, the public budget law has to be considered, also there has to exist a "Gebührenordnung" (regulation of fees). Regulating the fees in the form of "Entgelte", however, can be handled more flexibly.

Practice of financing - models and regulations

Under the conditions supplied above, the financing of continuing education can be shaped within the range of obtaining additional proceeds for services rendered in the sense of covering all costs on the one hand, and of getting full financial support within the frame of the regular budget on the other. In practice, there can be found numerous varieties and mixed forms of theses two models of financing, which in fact hardly ever occur in their pure forms.

Apart from making accessible external sources of financing, the way that funds are internally provided and utilized plays an important role here. These are the two aspects that make up the conditional elements and shaping factors of the organization of the management of continuing education: directed at the outside - as part of a commercialization strategy in the broadest sense - by means of opening up potential financial resources in the context of finding the state of demand in different fields of co-operation and of including those into the calculations and budgets; directed at the inside by means of designing various systems of incentives to stimulate a stronger commitment to the affairs of continuing education.

The authorities from the sphere of educational politics and administration are especially important in regard to the systems of incentives, as they are responsible for regulations concerning these incentives.

Concludingly, the sources of funds raised for covering the costs of continuing education will be systematically presented. In section 2 some concrete examples from practical experience will be described in more detail. The internal distribution of funds will be elaborately discussed in section 1.6., giving due regard to the creation to incentives.

The funds for infrastructure and programmes and activities of continuing education are chiefly raised from the following sources:

Insofar as the size of public fees ("Gebühren") have been regulated according to the laws of fees ("Gebührengesetze") of the federal states, continuing education courses of study range from DM 100 to DM 5000 per term, while other forms of continuing education have a span of DM 5 to DM 100 per lesson. These "Gebühren" may be reduced or waived in cases of a special public interest in the activity or of financial need of the participants.

Whether the task of continuing education is accepted by the university can be deduced from the existence of a personnel infrastructure that corresponds to the task. All the relevant recommendations from educational politics propose some 2-4 posts for the implementation of the task of transfer in continuing education. The investigation of AUE carried out in 1994 implied the question of how many posts for continuing education (including head) in the central department designated to it were financed form the funds of the university. The answers show that in cases where central departments exist its staff is mainly financed from university funds. 14.1% of the respondents stated that there was no financing from the university. A scant half of the institutions have 1-2 post financed by the universities, a scant quarter 3-4. Only 15.3% possess more than 4 posts. There are hardly any changes expected in the equipment of posts. Altogether it can be noted that the existing situation of staff guarantees a certain efficiency of the central department; its reality, however, falls short of the recommendations made long ago which include much better personnel conditions.

A further central question for the functionality of continuing education lies in securing the teaching capacity. "Numerus clausus" and overcrowdedness/overload are the conditions at German universities that make it a controversial issue, whether and to what extend teaching of continuing education courses can be included in the teaching obligation of the teaching staff. On principle, the academic pre-career education is granted priority. Continuing education courses, then, are a matter of voluntary commitment of the teaching staff with the option of giving it up again any time. As this is accepted as an unbearable situation, a possible solution is seen in the offer of additional incentives of the material and immaterial kind (cf. also 1.6.2.).

For the time being, however, this problem is not yet handled in ways accepted by everybody anywhere, even though there are new approaches considering the creation of more flexible forms of spending of revenues or the possibilities of financing through private law "Entgelte" (fees).

Against this background it has to be discussed whether the personnel capacity is sufficient to guarantee continuing education: 53% of the respondents viewed the capacity not sufficiently secured, 23% considered it partly secure. Only a scant quarter answered the question positively.

In this connection there also has to be considered the question, whether it should be possible to count activities in continuing education as part of the regular teaching load. It is answered with yes by 34% of the respondents.

For a long time, the situation for universities to fulfil their tasks in continuing education has been characterized by the fact that they were either not allowed to obtain revenues from fees ("Gebühren, Entgelte") or - in the few cases they were allowed to - were forced to pay them over to the budget of the state. It is easily perceptible that continuing education can only then be to some extend attractive for the universities, if the revenues obtained by these activities can remain with the universities with the possibility to utilize them as flexibly and as autonomously as possible for this same task. According to the investigation of 1994, the situation presents itself as follows: only 40.5% of the respondents state that revenues achieved through continuing education completely stay in their university and are available for the financial securing of continuing education. For almost a quarter of the universities this is not the case. 21% state that they remain for the most part, and 14% say only for an insignificant part at the university's disposal for the purpose of continuing education.

As a whole, these details reflect a highly disparate situation. It should really go without saying that revenues from continuing education are in their turn applied for activities of continuing education. For obvious reasons, the commitment to continuing education will suffer as long as the universities are prevented from utilizing the proceeds from their achievements in an institutional way. Moreover, on an external basis it signifies a distortion of the situation of competition, if the revenues remain only partly or not at all at the universities' disposal. Universities possess an essential share on the market of continuing education as a supplier of courses. Regulations which make it impossible to re-finance continuing education or to make new investments prevent competitiveness on the market.

1.6. Motivation of continuing education

1.6.1. Who provides university continuing education?

First of all it has to be stated that the quaternary sector of education, and especially of continuing education, in Germany is characterized by a structure of staff that leaves the main part of teaching to part-time personnel. Full-time professionals in the area of continuing education are chiefly concerned with tasks of the management, planning, developing, administrating, consulting etc. This has effects on scientific continuing education, too, in that, on the one hand, external agencies that provide scientific continuing education - relying heavily on university resources to provide the required qualification - hire the academic staff of universities on a part time basis. On the other hand, there is quite a similar structure at the universities as far as continuing education is concerned: there are hardly any full-time teachers of continuing education. Full-time professionals for continuing education at the university, too, are chiefly concerned with managerial tasks. Similar to the situation of the private market, teaching is either completely carried out on a part-time basis - in addition to the main tasks of research and lecturing in pre-career or post-graduate studies - or is performed as a minor share within the frame of the regular teaching load. Besides, a certain part of the teaching of continuing education is carried out by "Lehrbeauftragte" (persons appointed to teaching/lecturing) from outside of the university.

1.6.2. Incentives

At present three models of systems of incentives aiming at increasing the commitment of universities in the sphere of continuing education can be distinguished, each of which has different consequences for the organizational structure and financial arrangement. They especially influence the degree and intensity of the institutional contribution and embodiment. The different options cannot necessarily be regarded as excluding its respective alternative, but have different degrees of relevance according to the systems they are conditioned by. Consequently, the so-called "Misch-Modell" (mixed model) frequently occurs in practice (cf. Graeßner/Schäfer, 1989).

The private-economy model provides that there is payed a remuneration for the part-time lecturing of members of the university staff in the field of continuing education.

The public-law model defines continuing education as a duty belonging to the main tasks (of the lecturer), so that the fees charged from participants and beneficiaries are not entered to the credit of a private person but to the institution's: this implies that continuing education is accepted as a structural feature of universities and is in accordance with this counted as part of the general teaching load, possibly even taken into account when assessing the capacities for each university.

The mixed model starts from the assumption that institutional performances made beforehand) developing, managerial, administrative tasks etc. are part of the basic equipment of scientific continuing education financed by public means but in the future possibly also by means from private economy; the performances of individual university teachers or faculties may be put to account either institutionally (teaching load, capacity) or privately, according to both the circumstances and the distribution of interests of each individual case.

1.6.3. Academic recognition

Traditionally, a scientist's prestige basically depends upon his/her achievements in research as well as upon publications and discussions within the scientific community. Against that, distributing his/her findings by lecturing to students in pre-career courses does not have any particular value for his/her scientific reputation. The recent past, however, has seen some discussions thematizing the quality of lecturing as a decisive factor, in particular with regard to the transfer of know-how into practical spheres of application. In the field of continuing education, the aspects of didactics and methods are especially important, since continuing education is closer to and deeper intertwined with practical experience, so that important ideas for science and research may arise retroactively. Still, research apparently continues to be regarded as the superior force to achieve findings in universities, providing the general institutional and individual pattern of identification. As far as "weiterführende Studiengänge" (further or advanced courses of study) are concerned, universities are in quantity clearly inclined towards committing themselves to "Aufbaustudien" (additional courses of studies) which have a distinct orientation towards science and research, than to continuing education with its clear orientation towards problems and issues of professional practice.

1.7. Status of continuing education
1.7.1. Visibility of continuing education on a local, regional, national and European level - regional and supra-regional co-operation

In the area of scientific continuing education, universities get into contact with their regional and supra-regional surroundings, especially in the spheres of economy, social affairs and culture.

In practice, particularly central institutions have established a tight web of manifold external relations and structures for communication and co-operation. On principle, this possesses a dynamic character, as a stable structure made to last is continually supplemented by more flexible elements which can react to new requirements on a short-term basis. Different opportunities and forms of communication as well as their organization are the features essentially shaping these relations.

AUE systematized the instruments for a network of universities and their region within the frame of scientific continuing education from both practised and potential forms. Proceeding from this basis, KAW worked out and passed recommendations concerning scientific continuing education by universities in the region, including supra-regional aspects (see section 2 for more details).

With regard to functions, a distinction can be made between the general representation of the universities in the public via public relations and the specific information provided about the profile, programme and provisions of continuing education. Within the frame of planning and developing directed at an existing demand, contacts are established and further developed into stable working relations, leading to concrete co-operations and special projects of continuing education.

The study of AUE of 1994 (Graeßner/Lischka, 1996) inquired to what extend advertising and publicity of the activities of continuing education are regarded as vitally necesssary. The results reflect the differentiated structure of continuing education by universities. Only 13% of the answers show that advertising is hardly or not at all considered necessary. Against that: almost half of the answers (47.3%) belong to the category that thinks advertising necessary by all means.

From this it can be deduced that the provisions in question have a strong relation to the market, while an approximate of a fifth of the answers in the categories of 'mostly' (19.1%) or 'partly' (20.6%) indicate that in addition to these (provisions directed at the market) there are also activities playing a role that do not depend on mechanisms of the market but are rather conditioned by political decisions, that is by a certain policy of funding.

On the whole it becomes obvious that the universities are very conscious of the necessity of advertising and publicity. Concerning the financing and co-ordination of public relations, however, there still have to be made inquiries, as the investigation does not provide any information about this problem. It is known from experience, though, that very few universities make available special financial means for advertising activities. Just as few can be regarded as following an especially co-ordinated strategy of public relations. Any such strategy would not only have to be concerned with the way continuing education appears to the outside, but should also include the ways of acting of the persons in charge of publicity in the university.

1.7.2. Accreditation of qualifications

Qualification here is understood generically as a combination of skills and competence. In regard to the regional and supra-regional surrounding of the university, the job-market plays a central role assessing the value and making use of qualifications mediated by continuing education. The importance attached to either skill, i.e. a rather special ability, or competence, rather signifying a general prowess, however, differs according to the respective perspectives of employee or employer.

Accreditation or auditing as forms of recognition of the respective qualifications belong to this field of conflict, which should therefore take the interests of the different groups into account.

Co-operations corresponding to this can be achieved - within the frame of the forms of organization sketched above - on regional or supra-regional levels. It also bears close relation to general questions of quality guarantee and quality management, as well as certification and graduation (cf. 1.4.). There are first beginnings for such forms, but they need to be further systematized and secured (cf. section 2).

1.7.3. Contacts to industry, employers. professions

In its investigation of 1994 (Graeßner/Lischka 1996) AUE provided an explicit survey of the co-operative relations of universities in the field of continuing education. It was inquired whether there are any co-operative relations to industry, social associations, other institutions of continuing education. The data collected do not allow any statement about neither quality nor intensity of these co-operative relations. 56% state that there are co-operative relation to industry. Against that, co-operative relations to social associations and communities have a smaller share (32%). These findings indicate that the intentions of continuing education are clearly directed at professions. In order to safe-guard a broad regional embodiment of the universities through continuing education, however, the relations to social associations and communities have to be much stronger.

As far as the co-operation with other institutions of continuing education is concerned, other universities take the main share of the answers (49%). This reveals that continuing education makes use of the resources of neighbouring universities to a great extend - a development which has to be very much approved of on the whole and which shows that existing scientific competence can be utilized without stationary ties. Coming in second position are the co-operations with institutions of chambers (38.7%). Co-operative relations to other institutions as, for instance, "Volkshochschulen" (22.7%), "Bildungswerke" of employers (18.7%) or to private institutions (24%) are stated with significantly less frequency.

The inquiry does not provide any information about the exact nature of the co-operative relations. It can be assumed, however, that the relations to industry are relatively strong, as they are revolving around economic interests often enough. Industry is a special (potential) partner, because it - with its demand of continuing education - supplies participants and resources. The same is true for social associations and communities, with the restriction that the financing of activities will be much more difficult. The relation to other institutions of continuing education is threefold: on the one hand private institutions are competitors on the market of continuing education, on the other there is an obvious co-operative potential in offering attractive programmes to particular target groups together. The co-operation, however, does not only imply those sectors that are directed at the market, but also the collaboration in developing provisions from the area of general and cultural continuing education that cannot yet be commercialized.

1.8. Other providers of continuing education

The system of continuing education, the so-called quaternary sector of the system of education in Germany, can be characterized by two principles: plurality in organizational and institutional structures, subsidiarity in regard to the financing by public means, which is legally regulated. The system of higher education, the so-called tertiary sector of the system of education, surmounts its systemic boundaries by its commitment to continuing education in so far as it takes on functions of the quaternary system. The problems resulting from this have been discussed - and still are discussed - under the heading of competition and/or co-operation, because of arising overlappings with regard to both contents and target groups on the one hand. On the other, the principles of continuing education just outlined also became a frame for orientation and action of the universities' activities in continuing education. For this reason, this section will specify the question of other suppliers of continuing education in respect to the universities' reaction to the problems of competition and co-operation and to strategies that can be further developed and pursued: should the universities delimitate themselves by an exclusive profile typical to them (citerion of quality) and restrict themselves accordingly, should they enter into competition with other providers, or should they rather commit themselves to the development and shaping of regional and supra-regional co-operative systems of alliance. At this point, these problems are sketched in their essential aspects, while chapter 2 will provide in detail the specific aspects of different future perspectives.

For almost all spheres of activities of university graduates there are manifold provisions of scientific continuing education outside of universities, too (cf. Lullies, Berning). Provisions of this kind basically focus on contents related to professional life. They react flexibly to new developments in the various areas of knowledge and vocations. An approximate of 60% of the teachers come from the respective professional practice, about 40% are university teachers who are involved on a part-time basis and are normally paid a very high remuneration. The continuing education of members of the civil service is chiefly provided by the responsible ministries, partly by institutions of continuing education established exactly for this purpose. For school-teachers of all grades, for instance, there are mainly the state academies for the continuing education of teacher ("Akademien für Lehrerfortbildung").

Continuing education for the professions in economy is characterized by a broad range of suppliers: chambers, vocational associations, employers and private foundations. The contents of these courses are orientated at application and in particular comprise the areas of management, structure of personnel, financing and accounting, as well as languages and guidance of people. In recent years, there has also been a clear increase in interdisciplinary courses dealing for instance with questions like environmental conservation. Insofar as these courses are not carried out by employers of one's own, the costs have to be covered through the participants. However, employers increasingly tend to also reimburse fees of their employers, if they attend courses provided by other institutions. In cases of vocational further education or retraining, participants may be supported by measurements of the "Arbeitsförderungsgesetz", if certain prerequisites are fulfilled.

Professions in engineering and the natural sciences have a long tradition of continuing education. Unions of vocations, as for instance the "Verein Deutscher Ingenieure (VDI)" (union of German engineers) were founded in the 19th century already and committed themselves to the continuing education of their members at an early stage. Amongst others, they founded the "Bildungswerk des VDI", the "Haus der Technik" in Essen and the "Technischen Akademien" in Esslingen, Kaiserslautern and Wuppertal as well as the "Institut für technische Weiterbildung" in Berlin. Technical continuing education takes place in the same way as that of the professions in economy. In the areas of chemistry and electrical engineering, which carry out a great deal of research and development work and have enormous growth rates, continuing education to a great extend has its place within the companies themselves, frequently supported by university teachers working on a part-time basis and for remuneration. In the field of engineering and building the share of internal continuing education is smaller; accordingly the share of commercial provisions is higher. Engineers and technicians of medium and superior levels increasingly demand provisions of continuing education on the sector of economics and management. Computing and data-processing as well as topics surmounting specialist subjects are further areas of importance.

Only a short glance at the structure of provisions, programmes and target group as sketched in sections 1. and 2. reveals the existence of overlapping segments and hence a potential for competition and/or co-operation, especially as continuing education here gets in touch with a well-funded demand. It is not by coincidence that the number of commercial suppliers is especially high in this field.

In regard to the area of general, cultural and political continuing education the scope of both other providers and the variety of themes and contents is even bigger. Competition, however, is not as strong in this field, since the mechanisms of the markets (supply and demand) are not the primary factors of regulation or deregulation respectively here. Rather, the question of how to find ways to secure the public availability of science - which is necessary for the development of democratic societies - by co-operative efforts of the universities and institutions of continuing education is considered

1.9. European dimension in university continuing education

There is no recent and systematic survey about kinds and ranges of activities in the area of university continuing education which would take a European dimension into consideration.

In German universities, international and European affairs are dealt with in sections and departments of headship or administration particularly in charge of these affairs. Whether and to what extend there are lateral connections and co-operations with institutions of university continuing education is not systematically recorded. A screening of AUE's 1992 documentation about institutions in charge of transfer of science has revealed that approx. 35 institutions explicitly name the subject of Europe as part of their spectrum of tasks. At present, the investigation of 1996 is being analysed as far as the responses to the fields of special expertise are concerned. One category of this will be the European dimension. This means that any considerations of concrete starting points for perspectives and strategies for the future development of this sphere will have to wait for the informative basis of current concrete activities (see section 2 for details).

The process of European unification signifies a special impetus for "Fernstudium" (distance study, higher distance education and training provided by universities. As the mobility and flexibility characteristic of distance study as well as its qualification for transfer makes it easily surmount national borders, it is of special importance for the future. In 1995 there was founded - with AUE as umbrella organization - the "Arbeitsgemeinschaft für das Fernstudium an Hochschulen (AG-F)" (association for distance study at universities). It is a joint activity of (presence-) universities which have already since the seventies made use of this didactic instrument in order to provide open and flexible forms of study exceeding traditional lecturing. One of the aims of this association is to represent the distance study of their universities on a European level and to take part in supra-regional projects on the field of Open and Distance Learning (ODL). Currently, a distinct tendency towards an increasing importance of national and supra-national networks and joint projects in the area of distance study can be made out. With regard to networking, the backlog demand of German universities is immense, especially as far as distance study and particularly its webbed application for more flexible forms of scientific continuing education is concerned. This, too, is the basis of the prognosis that joint ventures have a considerable potential in the future of distance study and continuing education.

On a programmatic level, Europe is a theme ranking highly in the discussion of educational politics. Economic, political and cultural aspects of the European integration are regarded as important challenges for subjects of continuing education on the whole, but also for continuing education provided by universities. Consequently, the ad-hoc group of "konzertierte Aktion Weiterbildung" of the federal ministry of education, science, technology and research has occupied itself with this question and has presented recommendation for further treatment of this thematic area (cf. section 2 for further details).


Draft National Report Germany Part 2

2. New needs, problems and obstacles, good practice in university continuing education

The separate treatment of existing problems/obstacles and good practice on the one hand and new needs and measures to be taken to satisfy the new needs on the otheras it was planned in the suggested scheme of division could not be carried out in practice because of a high number of overlappings. Consequently, this chapter deals with them both. Furthermore, there arose some modifications in the classing of several aspects with comprehensive points of division.


As a frame of orientation for the present state of practice and the development of perspectives for progress, there are firstly presented to areas.

P. Faulstich (1997) resumed the dimensions of a pragmatism conceptionally settled in the transfer of science which constitute and shape the scope of achievements of scientific continuing education. This relates to the different dimensions of achievements which are expected of transfer activities:

It is undisputed that the transfer of scientific knowledge into technical know-how is the heart of the history of success of modern science. A great deal of the continuity of our lives is based on this transfer, which is increasingly accelerating, at the same time becoming more steady and is accordingly institutionalized in places of contact and centres of innovation. These organize the intersection of the relations between science and society. What is being expected from them are innovations as means increasing the efficiency of economical and political actions. Whoever wants to criticize this frontally, will not be successful in foreseeable and justified senses.

Nevertheless, the activities of transfer have to reflect that technological problems can never be completely and prognostically solved by scientific research. Scientific theories have to be subject to simplification in their transfer into technical application - in the sense that some aspects are neglected while continuing to exist. This is the background against which the debate of risks is gaining space, which charges technology with ecological and social problems. For this reason, it is questionable to realize any technology by making it function in a simplified way; instead, problems of the assessment of technology are being reflexively regarded nowadays.

The same is true for the qualification in the system of science. In a sense, the training of specialists for the church, the state and science has come to an end in disciplinary contexts. The progressing disintegration into sub-disciplines proves dysfunctional when it comes to application. Restrictions arise, which limit the scope of perceptions and conclusions. Hence, the call for elementary and coherent knowledge and competence according to it is getting louder. Along with this, the weight and relevance of scientific continuing education increases, which brings social contexts of application back to the universities. This, too, is the task of the transfer of science.

Science, however, is not only provider of transfer and producer of competence; it is rather, according to its idea, a way of life. Beyond operative knowledge and the capacity to act it also organizes thoughtfulness. Even if this seems to become increasingly harder in the present business/organization) of science, the claim to orientation and power of judgement remains. Only then science has to do with education as a way to seize the world. Including this, transfer joins the discussion in continuing education about the value of science within the frame of the meaning of education. A reasonable identity of the individual in a rational world includes science. In this sense, theories of refection are eminently practical.

The annual conference of AUE in 1996 thematized the different perspectives of scientific continuing education in Europe. P. v. Mitschke-Colland put there theses about "Core Competences and Learning Career of the Future Employee" to discussion.

The above topic was approached from two different points of view: firstly, development of the individual's roles as both employee and learner was analysed. Furthermore, development of structural conditions of working and learning life was discussed. It started sketching a vision of regional requirements of the further European society. Thereafter, it was looked into some trends of ongoing structural changes within organizations of working and learning life.

The underlying assumption of the paper considered the European employee and citizen being a learner and a change agent at the same time. Hence, the key questions were: What are the necessary core competences to be accumulated by the individual while passing through the different stages of the socialization process? Furthermore, where, when and how should social values and attitudes of personality development (education) as well as technical skills and capabilities for professional development (training) be fostered?

Visions of the future European society

The ongoing structural changes

To achieve positive and to prevent negative aspects of this vision a lot of changes will have to be introduced to political, working and learning life. Which roles does the individual play?

Political life - the democratic citizen


Working life - the competent employee

Learning life - the innovative learner

Learning off the job - the educational system

Learning on the job - inservice training

Regional integration of working and learning life  
2.1. Organizational arrangement

As demonstrated in sections 1.2. and 1.7., scientific continuing education at universities requires an organizational frame, inside which the necessary internal and external structures and processes of communication and co-operation are established and shaped. A corresponding professional management was institutionalized in various ways, each taking into account the differing conditions and possibilities of realization. In part, they correspond to different phases of development of an institutional embodiment of continuing education within the universities. In the following, some forms are especially emphasized. The aspects according to which this is done are these: internally, in how far and how an organizational integration of research and continuing education is reached and other segments of the management of transfer in the shape of transfer of technology and consultancy as well as other channels and media of distribution, as, for instance, distance study are realized. Furthermore, institutionalized double-structures formed by a combination of institutions that have a public status and institutions organized according to public-law within a university. Externally, degree and intensity of co-operative relations in the regional and supra-regional surroundings and integration into corresponding networks of co-operative associations.

If the elaborations on these different forms use particular universities as examples, these are applied in the sense of prototypes.

2.1.1. Internal variations of institutionalization

The type of a "zentrale wissenschafltiche Einrichtung" (central scientific institution) sits on the same level like the other units of research and lecturing. An example for this type is the "Weiterbildungsstudium Arbeitswissenschaft" (continuing education course of study science of work) at Hannover University. The activities in research and consultancy concentrate on questions of analyzing structural changes in the working world (in a way corresponding to the science of work), and scientifically attending a company's application of organizational and developing concepts. The scientific findings from these projects form the essential basis for both shape and development of the courses offered.

A "zentrale Betriebseinheit" (central management unit) is a type of institutionalization which is arranged as a service agency surmounting faculties lines, particularly functioning as initiator, co-ordinator and co-operator for different activities of continuing education. It is directed at making accessible and transforming the potential of research of the university with relevance to continuing education.

In some cases, such institutions additionally include forms of institutionalization that have a private-law basis (registered non-profit association). These are instruments which can create incentives to participate in continuing education, which make investments possible and promote such activities in continuing education which are oriented at the market and have and entrepreneurial approach and which help rendering additional services in the administration of continuing education along with allowing a higher degree of flexibility when it comes to reacting to an acute demand or opening up sources of financing. The university of Hamburg can be stated as an example for such an institutional double structure. There exists the "Arbeitsstelle für wissenschaftliche Weiterbildung" (working unit for scientific continuing education) as a "zentrale Betriebseinheit" of the university in combination with "Unitrain-Verein für wissenschaftliche Weiterbildung e.V." (uni-train society for scientific continuing education, registered non-profit organization).

At the university of Frankfurt a. M. distance study and continuing education are organized in one institutional working unit crossing the lines of faculty affiliations. Along with functioning as the regional centre for distance study, it both develops and carries through scientific continuing education courses in the mediasystem (Medienverbund) and co-operates with distance study and continuing education institutions both domestic and from abroad. From the fact that a high number of persons make use of the institutions of distance study like, for instance, "Fernuniversität" in Hagen, "Open University" in Walton Hall and "Open Universiteit" in Heerlen it can be concluded that the reverse case of continuing education without elements from distance study is nowadays no longer practicable to a satisfying degree. For this reason, distance study can be characterized as an important and growing medium of scientific continuing education in the further, especially in European global contexts.

The University/"Gesamthochschule" Kassel co-ordinates scientific transfer centrally, understanding its task as creating links between research and lecturing and the social environment. It is divided into three working units:

2.1.2. Organization of external co-operative relations

The federal state of Lower-Saxony has a special model for the co-operation with the institutions of continuing education in the region, especially with "Volkshochschulen". The "Zentrum für Weiterbildung" (centre for continuing education) of Oldenburg University, for instance, publishes a yearly catalogue of special courses ("Seminarkurse") of continuing education conducted by university teachers. From these the institutions may choose seminars for their programmes and include it into their supply of courses. These seminars will then be carried out on the premises of the local institution of continuing education. Funds for financing are raised from public means according to a specified mode.

Currently, initiatives are increasingly being taken that aim at improving approved - e.g. direct - forms of bilateral collaboration between the universities and individual enterprises and associations on local, regional and supra-regional levels and at producing networks covering the area. There are first beginnings of such networks in associations which are organized as "Kooperationstellen Hochschule und Gewerkschaft" (co-operative places university and trade unions) or "Kooperationsverbund Weiterbildung Hochschule und Wirtschaft" (co-operative associations continuing education university and industry). Examples for these forms of co-operations can be found at several universities in Berlin, Bielefeld, Bochum, Bremen, Dortmund, Kaiserslautern and others.

2.2 Financial Arrangements

2.2.1 Variant under public law ( „öfentlich-rechtliche Variante" )

The infrastructural basis for uce is afforded through a public funded centre for uce within the regular budget of the university ( for example „Weiterbildunbgszentrum der Universität Bochum )

The additional costs for each ce provision are supplied by fees („Gebühren") of the beneficiaries, participants. The measure to be taken for the calculation is arranged by official „fee-regulations" (Gebührenordnungen), for this instance DM 160 per hour/lesson plus an amount for teaching material, scripts etc. For a seminar with 24 hours/lesson calculated on the basis of 15 participants , each one of them had to pay entirely DM 270 fees ( DM 256 for the teaching plus DM 14 for material ). This is declared as a special „Gasthörergebühr" ( special fee for guest students ). Those fees remain in the university and can be spend appropiated for the purpose of ce.

As pointed out before, the fees can be reduced in cases of particular public interewst down to DM 75. There are also possibilities to give abatements to people with low income.

The distribution of the total amount of fees ( Gebühren ) happens according to the following scheme:

This system does not aim at profits in an entrepreneurial sense.

2.2.2 Variant under privat law („Privatrechtliche Variante")

The uce is managed by an external - more or less strongly linked with the university - organization as a registered non profit association or a limited company. ( for example Technische Akademie Duisburg ) The fees ( in this case „privatrechtliche Entgelte) charged for the ce do not only have to cover the expenses for the provision but also for the personal and material infrastructure of the institution. The calculation is entrepreneurial. Maxim is the covering of all expenses and, if possible, the gaining of a profit or surplus. These profits serve for investments in the further development of the institution and extension of the ce provison. The remaining net profit is distributed among the departments of the university.

2.3. Quality

U. Bade-Becker (1996) worked out and structured the elements relevant for a system of quality management by systematically screening and analyzing conceptions and procedures of quality guarantee and suggested a strategy for its realization (for the context see 1.4.):

2.3.1. Quality management system in continuing education

Universities participate in the market of continuing education with their courses of scientific continuing education. The singular profile of the provider of continuing education "university" finds expression in a supply of vocational and general continuing education which is unmistakably specific. It is characterized by contents regarding current issues, by a strong relation to practice and critical reflexivity, because it does not have to take into consideration its marketability alone.

Conditional frame

The governing body of the university decides about scope and responsibilities of the activities of continuing education. It guarantees the continuous realization of the activities and provides corresponding conditions as far as organization, legal, financial and matters of personnel are concerned. The governing body of the university formulates its politics of quality as well as its aims in quality politics in respect to its activities in the field of scientific continuing education.

Components of the system of quality management

Ways to realization and requirements

From the shaping elements outlined above, there follows for the development and realization of a system of quality management in scientific continuing education that it has to be a flexible device constantly open to amendments, which is accepted within the university as well as outside of it. It has to be practicable and pragmatically oriented in order to be able to be integrated into "current business."

For these reasons, a strategical procedure on different levels is recommended:

legal-administrative level

level of universities

level of educational politics

level of conductors of scientific continuing education at universities

initiating a joint project for the development of a conceptual framework for quality management, whose effect and qualification will be judged and - if necessary - modified in pilot projects before it will be recommended as an instrument of responsible self-control to units and institutions of scientific continuing education.

2.4 Types of diplomas, certificates delivered

The very differentiated situation concerning the character of provisions in uce demands openenss and flexibiloity relative to the shaping and arrangement of certificates on the one hand. On the other hand, their integration into the system of higher education and their possition in the market of continuingf education demand visible and acknowledged forms of certification. The „AUE-Tableau-Zertifkate" in uce represents a firast proposal for orientation in this complicated area. This proposal was made with pragmatical intention, it tries to take into consideration the essential mark points of the recent discussion and the usual paractice. The proposal aims at conceptional comprehension and the development of routines and wishes to make a contirbution towards a graded arrangement of a system of certification in uce in order to reduce complexity and to induce transparency.



foundations and regulations required achievements kind of certification
single course, seminar opened provisions from initial study courses as well as special ce-provisions regular attendance


work written under supervision, homework etc.

attestation of attendance


attestation of successful attendance

module, sequence described segment of a modular scheme assigned achievements for this segment attestation of attendance and the performed achievements
Continuing Education Programme obligatory fixed assigned achievements for this programme certificate including the reached achievements
Continuing Education Course of study curricular designed pro-vision; regulation of the course of study and the examination
  • internal
  • licensed by the authorities




  • certificate with testimonial;
  • formal degree, ( diploma, master.

2.5. Status of continuing education - Visibility and co-operation on a supra-regional and international levels

The forms of organization of external co-operations presented in sections 1.7. and 2.1. stand in regional and local contexts. Particularly for a future development, however, supra-regional and international dimensions are of decisive importance, since scientific continuing education has an especially pronounced degree of specialization, and specific sectoral provisions can only be made available by particularly suited institutions.

The working group scientific continuing education (KAW) mentioned earlier sketched the starting situation of scientific continuing education in respect to supra-regional aspects considering existing deficits and formulated recommendations for supra-regional collaborations. According to it, supra-regional collaboration in the area of scientific continuing education - a market of supply and demand and consequently under competitive conditions - has not yet reached any pronounced form in Germany. Even less distinct is the order in the European area, not even as far as surmounting internal borders of the union are concerned. Provision with a European extension are rare; only in cases of measures internal to one enterprise there exists a demand of European reach.

Scientific continuing education in Germany has so far been basically supplied by companies and commercial organizers. There is a market of continuing education upon which the universities increasingly enter, hence underlying market rules, especially regulations of competition and cartel. In this, scientific continuing education is located at the seam position between the educational system of the state and the markets of services, with the consequence of competing publicly and privately organized suppliers of continuing education.

Sufficient information forms the basis for any collaboration between suppliers and customers. It has to be supported in the regional environment, but also through contacts reaching beyond places and subjects, optimally by a supra-regional network in which the umbrella organizations of both the suppliers' and the customers' sides work together. Insofar as information is being distributed via data banks in the future, the supra-regional distribution of information also requires a supra-regional network. Presently, data banks are mainly organized regionally. The compatibility of data bank systems - as it was recommended by KAW - is therefore of special importance for the sectoral, highly specialized supply and demand of scientific continuing education.

Any reflection on a supra-regional association has to consider European and global structures, because neither the side of supply nor that of demand can be restricted by national boundaries.

In Europe, a consensus has been reached that small and medium sized enterprises (MSE) are of imperative significance for the structure of economy. For scientific continuing education, this must mean that there are conditions offered to the staff of these that are similar to those of large-scale enterprises. In view of the demographic development, competition about "best qualifications" will have dramatically increases in a few years time. For this reason, disadvantages for small and medium sized enterprises will have to be prevented or made up for by the shaping of scientific continuing education. Starting from the assumption that any supra-regional collaboration requires personal contacts and technical support, the working group of KAW recommends as useful the following institutions:

Contacts between top organizations

In order to be able to establish supra-regional contacts between the sides of supply and demand, the representations of interests of competent / appointed top organizations should set up places of contact which collaborate in the sense of a supra-regional network. In this way, questions of demand and supply of scientific continuing education reaching beyond the limits of subjects or places can be taken up and deficits can be tackled.

Part of the instruments of the regional network may also be extended for supra-regional purposes to promote supra-regional co-operation of suppliers and customers. Insofar, there is no longer a sharp dividing line between regional and supra-regional instruments. Particularly worth mentioning are the following:


Triggered by the financial support politics of the European Commission, some consortia were establishes on a European level (EUROSPACE, EURORPSTEP, SATURN, European Round Table of Industrialists), in which suppliers and clients of scientific continuing education develop and carry through joint projects. A stronger participation of German institutions appears recommendable.

Moreover, the EU programme COMETT II supports consortia from universities and industry; in this way, a collaboration of small and bigger enterprises and of different types of universities is effected.

The participation in international projects, also in those that have partners in Eastern Europe (e.g. in the EU-programme TEMPUS) not only mediated an immediate advantage, it also creates far-reaching scientific and economic contacts.


In scientific continuing education new media increasingly gain in importance as technical and didactic instruments, since they make the participants independent of place and time, which has become an indispensable requirement in vocational scientific continuing education, especially as far as superior positions are concerned. Considerations on the establishment of a supra-regional network should be assisted by the bodies responsible of the new media.

Data banks of continuing education and consultancy of continuing education

The extensive supply of continuing education courses by a multiplicity of providers often makes it hard for the individuals as well as for enterprises and organization of continuing education to get a comprehensive overview of activities. Here, data banks of continuing education are increasingly important instruments of information helpful for customers.

Especially the supra-regional aspect will play an important role in highly specialist provisions of continuing education, which lack and extensive range of choices - and hence healthy competition as well. It is therefore important to take compatabilities into account when establishing data banks, so that a supra-regional exchange of information in specialist sectors is guaranteed. In the future, the consultancy of continuing education will have to take these supra-regional aspects of scientific continuing education into consideration to a stronger degree.

2.6. European dimension in university continuing education

As elaborated upon in chapter 1, any information relevant for current activities is being screened and gathered by the results from the AUE investigation of 1996.

On a programmatic level, there is a wide consensus reached upon the importance of the European dimension in continuing education, which is being emphasized repeatedly in various statements and recommendations, for instance those of the KAW mentioned earlier. A strengthening of the European dimension is regarded as a special priority in the following areas (see declaration of the Second European Conference on Continuing Education in Dresden, 1994):

As a way to realize these ideas it is recommended with regard to the principle of subsidiarity:

These same aspects form the frame for developing activities of university continuing education in Germany. The exchange of experience is increasingly organized in the shape of a network, which gets more important as a foundation.

Today there is the situation that people committed to scientific continuing education in Europe can come closer together than ever before, cultivate their exchange of experience and can start joint projects with good promises. This is possible amongst other things as a consequence of communicative relations existing for a long time already of more favourable political conditions and because of electronic media which make a faster communication possible. This has not only effects on the western countries, which look back upon a long tradition of collaboration anyway, but especially on the countries of the former Eastern block, that is on the co-operation with partners from Middle and Eastern Europe. Altogether, there is still a high demand of elementary information on mutual situations and perspective for collaboration.

Superior networks live by the communication of their members. The efficiency of scientific continuing education grows to the same extend that its actors join forces. Within the umbrella organization of the AUE as a national network this happens by a joint operations of its members and by institutionally cultivating further networks with respect to interest. Networks with strong international ties are available with the "Arbeitsgruppe Fernstudien an Präsenzhochschulen" (AF-G) (working group distance study at presence universities) and with the "Bundesarbeitsgemeinschaft wissenschaftliche Weiterbildung für ältere Erwachsene" (BAG WiWA) (federal working community scientific continuing education for older adults).

AG-F was founded after the contract of Maastricht along with various German developments - some of which led to the recommendations of the "Wissenschaftsrat" of the year 1992 - provided motives for new activities in the field of continuing education. Numerous members of the working group, which was constituted in 1995 in Oldenburg, combined the distance study for an elementary academic education with continuing education. The idea to organize a group which focused on the field of continuing education in the form of distance study suggested itself. AG-F concentrated on scientific continuing education related to vocations and post-graduate courses of study. Its aims were among others the following:

On the European level, AG-F is active in several co-operative projects of its members; via a network it is connected to the EuroStudyCentre Platform Group, which is a foundation of the European Association of Distance Teaching Universities and is currently establishing a network of European centres for distance study. Members of the AG-F will participate in the world congress of the International council for Distance Education (ISDE) in 1997 within the frame of a joint voyage, which is co-ordinated by the centre of distance study of Oldenburg University, which has a position in the general secretary of the ISDE and in the programme committee of the world congress.

BAGWiWA - active as an AUE-working group since 1995 - dedicate themselves to the task of opening up the universities for the general and vocational interests of education of older persons and developing provisions of continuing education which meet the interests of this group of people.

From these activities there developed a communicative network of persons acting in science and in this case particularly those who made use of the provisions. The personal and vocational connections resulting from this are now leading to an increasing development of numerous internationally directed activities which can even be institutionalized in some cases.

In the autumn of 1996, for instance, there took place a meeting of the coordinators of the European project "Good practice in der wissenschaftlichen Weitebildung für ältere Menschen in Europa - Aufbau eines Informations- und Kommunikationssystems als innovative Weg zur Verbesserugn der Informationen und Kommunikation von älteren weiterbildungsinteressierten Menschen in Europa" (Good practice in scientific continuing education for older persons in Europe - Construction of a System of Information and Communication as an Innovative Way to Improve the Supply of Information and Communication for Older People, who are Interested in Continuing Education, in Europe). This project is carried out with the University of Ulm as responsible body within the frame of the European Network Learning in Later Life founded in Ulm in 1995. It works at finding the basic structure for a system of data information of general continuing education scientifically directed of older people in Europe. Data from 18 countries are to be gathered and an exchange between the persons responsible of corresponding institutions as between the senior students themselves supported via a newsgroup in the internet.

In analogy to these examples there could be founded further "sub-networks" in the course of the EUCEN-project The Nuce in order to improve communication and co-operation with regard to aspects of contents and organization., like for instance:

workplace learning

and the like.



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