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News vom 18.02.2009

A Bachelorís degree and then what? Filling the gap between Bachelor and Master programmes with practical experience

The Bologna Declaration celebrates its 10th anniversary this year, and in Germany the conversion to the two-stage study system (Bachelorís and Masterís degrees) has advanced considerably. In business administration, students are already using the new possibilities arising from the transition between theoretical and practical or professional phases. In a CHE interview with students of subsequent master programmes, 21 percent of the students stated that they had had a phase of practical experience after their Bachelorís programme before starting the Masterís programme.

The Bachelorís degree as the first qualifying degree offers the possibility of entering professional life after only three or four years of study. Even graduates of Bachelorís degrees who are certainly looking towards acquiring an additional Masterís degree have the chance to collect professional experience in the transitional phase and thus can develop their Masterís programme in a targeted fashion on the basis of practical experience, or to focus on a new key issue.

From the point of view of business administration professors, the two-stage study system offers a phase that graduates are recommended to use. 43 percent of all lecturers at universities and 66 percent of all lecturers at Fachhochschulen think it makes sense to spend a period of time collecting practical experience before taking up a Masterís programme.

The desire for further education is cited regularly as an explanation (69 percent) by Masterís degree students in consecutive programmes. Only 15 percent of the Masterís students interviewed said that they saw no chances on the job market with only a Bachelorís degree and, therefore chose the continuing study programme. Most Bachelor graduates hope for better career chances once they have attained a Masterís degree (93 percent).

CHE managing director Frank Ziegele said: ĒThe desire for further education is also relevant for those Bachelor graduates who are successfully integrated into the labour market. They will hope to receive offers that make it possible to get a Masterís degree while working. There are far too few of these so far.Ē Mr Ziegele said: ďHEIs should adapt to meet the particular needs of students who are also working.Ē

The full results have been published under the CHE publication entitled ďIm Blickpunkt: Bachelor und was dann? Praxiserfahrungen zwischen Bachelorstudium und Master" (In focus: a Bachelorís degree and then what? Interviews with business administration Masterís degree students and lecturers). The ďIn focusĒ series, which is supplemented periodically, presents interesting results from data acquired for the ranking.

Further Information can be found in the publication stated below.

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Britta Hoffmann-Kobert
Britta Hoffmann-Kobertmehr
Phone: +49 5241 9761-27
Fax: +49 5241 9761-40
Email: britta.hoffmann-kobert

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