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A cooperative study programme with apprenticeship combines a Bachelor's degree course with vocational training. The schedule and content is coordinated for the training received at the different learning sites. Students who complete this kind of programme will graduate with a university Bachelor's degree, as well as a vocational qualification for a recognised vocational profession.
A cooperative study programme with work experience involves intensive stages of work experience with one of our partners together with a Bachelor's degree programme. Students who complete this kind of programme will graduate with a university Bachelor's degree. Cooperative study programmes with either an apprenticeship or work experience are also available to students who have already completed a vocational training course, but want to gain a further professional qualification with a Bachelor's degree. In any case, these cooperative students pursue a programme with work experience even in programmes with apprenticeship.
One or more businesses (including associations and organisations), usually one university (more than one university is also possible), the students and, optionally, vocational schools can all be partners involved in the programmes. More partners with different roles can also be involved, Chambers, trade unions and employer associations for example.
When it comes to training agreements, the location of the business determines which Chamber holds responsibility for examinations. For external admissions, the examination candidate's place of residence is the deciding factor. Responsibility can also be passed on to another Chamber upon request, for example, so that just one Chamber is responsible for overseeing the cooperative training when businesses located in different districts or Federal states are involved.
The university will conclude a cooperation agreement with the partner businesses. A cooperation agreement template can be found in the Downloads section of this website. This agreement governs how the university and businesses work together in terms of content, structure and organisation. This also includes quality assurance and indicates this to prospective students.
The relationship between the students and business will be governed by contract, either an apprenticeship, training or internship agreement, or a training and study agreement.
- School attendance is mandatory for a duration of 12 years (§ 7 of the SchulG [Schulgesetz, Education Act]; § 4, paragraph 1, of the BSVO [Berufsschulverordnung, regulations governing vocational schools])
- Voluntary attendance of a vocational school as per §4, paragraph 2, of the BSVO
- The classes available to entitle students should equate to 480 hours according to the timetable (680 hours for programmes lasting three and a half years; 520 hours for programmes lasting three years)
- Drawing up a work schedule together with the university
- Aligning the content taught at the university and vocational school
- Lessons may either be integrated or organised before the degree course as a complete year
- Cooperation with the business and, especially, with the university
If training is requested to be overseen by the relevant Chamber, a standard vocational training agreement should be concluded with the relevant Chamber. As a cooperation agreement only involves the business and university, it cannot replace a vocational training agreement.
In general, an external examination can be taken before the Chamber if the candidate has gained their knowledge and skills during practical experience and if they can prove that they have completed this experience over the course of at least one and a half times the standard training duration, that is four and a half years in other words. If the candidate can prove that they have sufficient knowledge and skills, this may also take place earlier.
As part of a vocational training agreement, the businesses involved in the cooperative study programme shall be obliged to make sure that all content is communicated as per the regulations on training. A possible exemption from vocational lessons shall remain unaffected. As per the law on vocational training (BBiG, Berufsbildungsgesetz), there are also further obligations arising as a result of a vocational training agreement, with particular regard to training allowances.
Provided that the students has turned 18 and has completed the 12 years of mandatory full-time school attendance, it is no longer obligatory for them to attend a vocational school. In this case, training shall take place at the university and business. The obligation of the business to communicate all content as per the regulations on training shall remain unaffected.