Institute of Vocational and Further Education

The Institute of Vocational and Further Education (IBW) works in the fields of lifelong learning, adult education in the context of work and employment, and topics relating to digital media and informal learning. The breadth offered by the IBW is unique in Germany. Its specialist areas explore current discourses on general, vocational, company-based, political and media education in close cooperation with central stakeholders in the field, such as the German Institute for Adult Education – Leibniz Centre for Lifelong Learning (DIE), the Federal Institute for Vocational Education and Training (BIBB), the German Association of Adult Education Centres (DVV), and the German Institute for International Pedagogical Research (DIPF). In the period covered by the report, an international workshop on “Innovation for Education” deserves special mention. It was held with Google’s head of innovation Dr. Ferdinand G. Pferdt in May 2017 in connection with the “Entrepreneur in Residence” programme of the University’s innovation and entrepreneurship centre IDE. Thematic areas of present and future relevance for the IBW include (a) (further) education research in the context of digitalisation in life, learning and work (“Industry 4.0”); (b) qualifications and skills in relation to globalisation, “Work 4.0” and entrepreneurship; (c) fairness of participation as a primary driving force behind development of the education system and educational processes; (d) structural, methodological and didactic challenges to learning over the lifespan; and (e) integration and internationalisation in the context of modernising socialisation, education and qualification processes.

Beyond these, the following are a selection of projects the IBW is currently working on:

“STHAGE: Dropout phenomena, habitus and social image” (2017–2020, Prof. Helmut Bremer) – BMBF “Academic Success and Dropout Phenomena” funding line: the collaborative project asks how dropout phenomena come about and how they are processed biographically. STHAGE, which is being conducted jointly by the UDE and Hannover University of Applied Sciences and Arts, takes a qualitative empirical approach to address this gap in the research. It compares subjects or groups of subjects with high and low dropout rates (engineering and social work/educational sciences) at two different types of higher education institution, universities and universities of applied sciences.

“Competence development in vocational enculturation processes” (2017–2021, Prof. Esther Winther) – funded by the DFG: the project researches the development of commercial competency in initial professional training and the main influencing and success factors in that process. As a result of the study, it will be possible to test assumptions about the acquisition and development of professional competencies.

“REBUS: Ready for Business” (2016–2019, Prof. Esther Winther) – EU Erasmus+ project line: in this project, entrepreneurship competencies are developed and validated. The aim is to professionalise entrepreneurship education in European higher education.