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Eurydice 2011_national System Overview on Systems in Europe and Ongoing Reforms [Germany]

Eurydice 2011_national System Overview on Systems in Europe and Ongoing Reforms [Germany]

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National s system overview on education systems in Europe n y p and ongoing reforms

2011 Editio on

DE

European Commission

National system overview on education systems in Europe and ongoing reforms

GERMANY
NOVEMBER 2011

1. Education population and language of instruction
In 2009, the number of people aged 29 or less was 24 587 432 (30.1 % of the population), and there were 7 827 317 young people in full-time compulsory education. As a rule, the language of instruction is German.

2. Admi
National s system overview on education systems in Europe n y p and ongoing reforms

2011 Editio on

DE

European Commission

National system overview on education systems in Europe and ongoing reforms

GERMANY
NOVEMBER 2011

1. Education population and language of instruction
In 2009, the number of people aged 29 or less was 24 587 432 (30.1 % of the population), and there were 7 827 317 young people in full-time compulsory education. As a rule, the language of instruction is German.

2. Admi

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National s system overview on education systems in Europe n y p and ongoing reforms

2011 Editio on

DE

European Commission

National system overview on education systems in Europe and ongoing reforms

GERMANY
NOVEMBER 2011

1. Education population and language of instruction
In 2009, the number of people aged 29 or less was 24 587 432 (30.1 % of the population), and there were 7 827 317 young people in full-time compulsory education. As a rule, the language of instruction is German.

2. Administrative control and extent of public-sector funded education
In 2009, 92.1 % of the pupils in general education attended public sector schools, and the remaining 7.9 % attended privately-maintained schools. In vocational education, 91.3 % of the pupils attended public sector schools, 8.7 % attended privately-maintained schools. The maintaining bodies of privately-maintained schools receive some financial support from the Länder, in various forms. All of the Länder guarantee standard financial support to schools entitled to such assistance; this includes contributions to the standard staff and material costs. The share of public funding in the overall financing of privately-maintained schools varies between the Länder, and also depends on the type of school. Under the Basic Law (Grundgesetz), privately-maintained schools are under the supervision of the state. When establishing a privately-maintained school, general legal requirements must be observed first of all, for instance with regard to building and fire safety regulations, health protection and protection of children and young people. The personal suitability of maintaining bodies, managers and teachers has to be vouched for. The national educational standards (Bildungsstandards) apply to both public sector schools and private schools. In the Federal Republic of Germany, responsibility for the education system is conditioned by the federal structure of the State. According to the Basic Law (Grundgesetz), educational legislation and administration are primarily the responsibility of the Länder (in a system comprising the Land Ministries of Education, Cultural affairs and Science, the regional authorities (Bezirksregierung/Oberschulamt) and the lower-level school supervisory authorities (Schulamt). This particularly applies to the school system, higher education and the adult education/continuing education sector.

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The Länder cooperate with each other within the framework of the Standing Conference of the Ministers of Education and Cultural Affairs of the Länder in the Federal Republic of Germany (abbr.: Kultusministerkonferenz – KMK) on matters of importance for all Länder. The responsibilities of the Federal Government in education are defined in the Basic Law. Among these responsibilities is the legislation concerning the admission to higher education institutions and the degrees they confer, as well as the financial assistance for individual training, including promotion of younger academic staff. The Basic Law also provides for particular forms of cooperation between the Federation and the Länder, such as that which occurs in the sector of the promotion of research. School supervisory authorities in each Land are responsible for inspection and exercise academic, legal and staff supervision within the school system. Each school has a teachers' council responsible for educational matters, and a school council (comprising teachers, parents and pupils), which decides on school regulations or disciplinary rules. The relative powers of these councils vary between the Länder. As regards initial training in the duales System (the dual system of vocational education and training in both the workplace and at school), which is experienced by just less than two-thirds of all young people, the training in the workplace is financed by companies, and the school element by the Länder. The workplace activity follows nationally coordinated training regulations, while there are framework curricula for the school-based work which are adapted to these regulations and established by the Länder. Vocational training in the workplace is supervised by public-law corporations (such as chambers of industry and commerce, chambers of handicraft, etc.)

3. Pre-primary education
In Germany, pre-primary education and care is part of the child and youth welfare sector. In most Länder, responsibility for pre-primary education and care lies with the social ministries. From three to six years, children can attend Kindergärten which are mainly run by non-public bodies (primarily churches and welfare associations) and to which parents are required to contribute, despite the allocation of major public subsidies and reliance on other funds.
2010 Children in day care Under the age of 3 20.3 % Age 3-6 92.2 %

For six-year-olds who have reached compulsory schooling age but whose level of development does not yet allow them to cope with the challenges of primary school, Schulkindergärten or Vorklassen have been established. In most Länder the school supervisory authorities are authorised by law to require that six-year-olds attend such institutions.

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4. Compulsory education
(i) Phases
6-10 years of age (6-12, Berlin & Brandenburg)

Grundschule (primary education) Lower secondary education Orientierungsstufe (‘orientation’ phase within the different school types) Gymnasium/Realschule/Hauptschule/Gesamtschule and types of schools offering several courses of education (Schularten mit mehreren Bildungsgängen) Upper secondary education

10-12 years of age 10/12-15/16 years of age

15/16-18/19 years of age

Full-time education is compulsory from between the ages of 6 and 15 in the majority of the Länder (Baden-Wuerttemberg, Bayern, Hamburg, Hessen, Mecklenburg-Vorpommern, Niedersachsen, Nordrhein-Westfalen at Gymnasium, Rheinland-Pfalz, Saarland, Sachsen, Sachsen-Anhalt and Schleswig-Holstein) or 16 (in Berlin, Brandenburg, Bremen, Nordrhein-Westfalen, at other lower secondary education institutions apart from Gymnasium, and Thüringen). Part-time education is compulsory until the age of 18 for those who do not attend a full-time school.

(ii)

Admission criteria

Generally, children are admitted to Grundschule from the age of 6. At primary level, children undergoing compulsory schooling enter a local primary school, which is the same for all of them. Transition from primary school to one of the school types at secondary level is subject to different regulations depending on legislation in the Land concerned. The decision on the type of school attended at lower secondary level is either taken by the parents or the school or school supervisory authority on the basis of an assessment made by the primary school. Admission to the various types of secondary schools may be subject to pupils fulfilling certain performance criteria and/or a decision by the education authority. All compulsory schooling is free of charge.

(iii)

Length of school day/week/year

The school year comprises between 188 (five-day school week) and 208 (six-day school week) days in the period from August to July. The length of the school day and week is determined by each of the Länder. Schools open on five or six days a week (mostly mornings). Each week entails 20-29 lessons at primary school, and 28-32 lessons at secondary level. At the eight-year Gymnasium, the number of weekly periods at lower and upper secondary level is generally increased by two to four weekly periods. A lesson lasts 45 minutes. Teaching may also be received in coherent blocks (Blockunterricht).

(iv) Class size/student grouping
In 2009 there were in primary education 21.5 pupils per class on average and, in lower secondary education, on average 24.6 pupils depending on the school type and the Land. Pupils are generally grouped by age and, at secondary level, setting occurs in some subjects. Primary classes initially have one teacher for all subjects, whereas secondary pupils have separate subject teachers.

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(v)

Curriculum control and content

The Länder ministries determine the curriculum, recommend teaching methods and approve textbooks. Core subjects in primary education generally include reading, writing, arithmetic, Sachunterricht as an introduction to natural and social sciences, art, music, sport and religious education. Secondary curricula depend on the type of institution, but usually continue primary core subjects, and include at least one foreign language as well as natural and social sciences. In order to implement the national educational standards adopted by the Standing Conference for the Grundschule, the Hauptschulabschluss (leaving certificate obtained on completion of grade 9 at the Hauptschule or any other lower secondary level school) and the Mittlerer Schulabschluss (leaving certificate obtained on completion of grade 10 at Realschulen or, under certain circumstances, at other lower secondary level school types), the subjects in the curricula are adapted accordingly. The educational standards specify the goals themselves, whilst the curricula describe and structure the way to achieve these goals.

(vi)

Assessment, progression and qualifications

Continuous assessment based on written examinations and oral contributions is universal practice at all levels. Assessment is carried out by the teacher responsible for lessons, who is responsible educationally for his or her decision. All children automatically move from grade 1 to grade 2 at the primary school. As a rule, from grade 2 of the primary school onwards each pupil is assigned to a suitable grade depending on his or her achievement level, either by being promoted a grade or by repeating a grade. The decision whether or not to move a pupil to the next grade is based on the marks achieved in the pupil's school report (Zeugnis) at the end of the school year. It is generally taken by the Klassenkonferenz, which is attended by all the teachers who have taught those pupils, and, sometimes, also by the teachers’ conference (Lehrerkonferenz), which is attended by all teachers of a particular school. The decision is noted on the report issued at the end of the school year. Pupils who reach the appropriate standard at the end of lower secondary education receive a leaving certificate (Hauptschulabschluss and Mittlerer Schulabschluss).

5. Post-compulsory education/upper secondary and post-secondary level
(i) Types of education
15/16-18/19 years of age

General upper secondary school (Gymnasiale Oberstufe) at the following school types: Gymnasium/Berufliches Gymnasium/Fachgymnasium/Gesamtschule Vocational education and training Berufsfachschule (full-time vocational education) Fachoberschule (full time vocational education) duales System – Berufschule + Betrieb (dual system: part-time vocational school and part-time on-the-job training) Post-secondary non-tertiary education Berufsfachschule Fachoberschule Abendgymnasium/Kolleg duales System – Berufschule + Betrieb (dual system: part-time vocational school and part-time on-the-job training)

15/16-18 years of age 16-18 years of age 15/16-18/19 years of age

19-22 years of age 18-19 years of age 20-35 years of age 19-22 years of age

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(ii)

Admission criteria

Admission to the gymnasiale Oberstufe (upper level of the Gymnasium) requires a lower secondary leaving qualification meeting certain standards of achievement. Admission requirements for fulltime vocational education depend on the type of school chosen. Admission to courses of vocational education at upper secondary level is based on leaving certificates and qualifications acquired at the end of lower secondary level. Depending on the training objective, Berufsfachschulen require their pupils to have a Hauptschulabschluss or a Mittlerer Schulabschluss. As a rule, the Fachoberschule requires a Mittlerer Schulabschluss. The Berufliches Gymnasium or Fachgymnasium requires a Mittlerer Schulabschluss satisfying the requirements for admittance to the gymnasiale Oberstufe or an equivalent qualification. Compulsory full-time schooling must be completed before commencing vocational education and training. There are no other formal prerequisites for admission to the dual system; vocational education and training in the dual system is generally open to everyone.

(iii)

Curriculum control and content

The curriculum determined by the Länder ministries, varies in accordance with the type of upper secondary education and training. Pupils in the gymnasiale Oberstufe must study subjects from three groups: languages/literature/the arts; social sciences; and mathematics/natural sciences/technology. Vocational programmes in Berufsfachschulen include German, social studies, mathematics, natural sciences, a foreign language and sport, as well as vocational subjects. The Fachoberschule is divided into the fields of study business and administration, technology, health and social work, design, nutrition and home economics, as well as agriculture. Training includes instruction and professional training. Instruction is given in the subjects German, foreign language, mathematics, natural sciences, economics and society and also in a field-specific subject. Apart from the subjects offered at a Gymnasium, the Fachgymnasium/Technisches Gymnasium has career-oriented subjects like business, technology, nutrition and home economics and agronomy, as well as health and social studies, which can be chosen in place of general subjects as the second intensified course and are examined in the Abitur. The vocational training in the duales System is organised for about 350 professions following nationally coordinated training regulations (the workplace element) and framework curricula established by the Länder (the school-based activity) in all economic fields.

(iv)

Assessment, progression and qualifications

For assessment requirements at upper secondary and post-secondary level, please see the description of assessment, progression and qualification at lower secondary level. Pupils who pass the Abiturprüfung (final examination at the end of the gymnasiale Oberstufe) receive the Zeugnis der Allgemeinen Hochschulreife, which grants access to higher education. Vocational courses at full-time vocational schools prepare pupils for a specific occupation, or for access to higher education (Zeugnis der Fachgebundenen Hochschulreife and Fachhochschulreife, certificate of the final examination taken respectively at the end of upper secondary education for vocational courses and on completion of school year 12 mainly in a Fachoberschule). Candidates from the duales System pass a final examination before an examination board of the competent bodies concerned (chambers of handicraft, chambers of industry and commerce, chambers of liberal professions or other public-law corporations), and receive a leaving certificate from the

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G erman y (No vember 2 011 ) competent body. Concomitantly, the Berufsschule issues a leaving certificate if the trainee has achieved at least adequate performances in all subjects.

6. Higher education
(i) Structure

The tertiary sector encompasses institutions of higher education and other establishments that offer study courses qualifying for entry into a profession. Higher education institutions include Universitäten (universities) and equivalent higher education institutions (Technische Hochschulen/Universitäten, Pädagogische Hochschulen, Theologische Hochschulen), Kunsthochschulen (colleges of art), Musikhochschulen (colleges of music) and Fachhochschulen (universities of applied sciences). A special role is played by the 29 Verwaltungsfachhochschulen (Fachhochschulen for public administration), which train civil servants for careers in the so-called higher level of the civil service. They are maintained by the Federation or by a Land. Their students have revocable civil servant status. The Berufsakademie – offered by some Länder – forms part of the tertiary sector and combines academic training at a Studienakademie with practical in-company professional training in keeping with the principle of the dual system. According to the International Standard Classification of Education (ISCED), the Fachschulen, the Fachakademien in Bayern and the two- and three-year schools in the health sector (Schulen des Gesundheitswesens) are also part of the tertiary sector. Fachschulen are continuing vocational education institutions in the tertiary sector that, as a rule, require the completion of relevant vocational training in a recognised occupation requiring formal training and subsequent employment. Schools in the health sector offer training for occupations in the health sector, e.g. nurse or physiotherapist. Many of these schools have a physical and organisational link with hospitals where both theoretical and practical training are provided.

(ii)

Access

The Zeugnis der Allgemeinen Hochschulreife entitles the holder to admission to all subjects and subject areas at all higher education institutions. The Zeugnis der Fachgebundenen Hochschulreife entitles the holder to study particular subjects at a university or equivalent higher education institution. Admission to studies at colleges of art and music generally requires the Zeugnis der Allgemeinen Hochschulreife and proof of artistic aptitude. The prerequisite for admission to a Fachhochschule or Berufsakademie is either the Fachhochschulreife or the Allgemeine/Fachgebundene Hochschulreife. In general, all applicants who meet these entrance requirements are registered for the course of study of their choice. In some cases, universities and Fachhochschulen have special admission procedures in order to identify a course-related aptitude. In all Länder there are ways for vocationally qualified applicants without a higher education qualification to obtain right of entry to higher education. In March 2009, the Länder resolved standard preconditions under which master craftsmen, technicians, people with vocational qualifications in a commercial or financial occupation and people with similar qualifications are eligible to enter higher education following the successful completion of vocational training and three years of experience in their occupation. If the number of applicants exceeds the places available in certain subjects, places are allocated on the basis of selection procedures that are operated either at national/regional level or at the relevant higher education institution. The criteria for the selection of applicants at national level (especially medicine) are the applicant's average mark in the Abitur (school-leaving examination constituting higher education entrance qualification, 20 per cent), the waiting period between sitting

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G erman y (No vember 2 011 ) the Abitur and applying (20 per cent) and the result of a selection procedure of the institution of higher education itself (60 per cent). At regional level, different criteria may be applied. There is a growing number of local restrictions on admission to a number of higher education institutions for courses that are not included in the nationwide admission procedure. In these cases, responsibility for the admission of applicants lies solely with the higher education institution. Admission requirements for schools in the health sector are a school-leaving certificate and a certain minimum age (generally 17 or 18 years), as well as relevant vocational experience or successful completion of at least two years’ vocational training.

(iii)

Qualifications

Qualifications in higher education vary according to the length and type of course followed. Studies at a university or equivalent institution are concluded by an academic examination (in the past: Diplom examination, Magister examination), a state examination, an ecclesiastical examination (in theology) or an artistic examination. In order to adapt the higher education system to the degree structure based on two main cycles, a new graduation system of Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees has been implemented since 1998 in universities and equivalent higher education institutions. In this regard, Germany has achieved clear progress over past years. The number of German students abroad has risen from some 65,000 in 2003 to just less than 103,000 in 2008. The share of consecutive study courses for Bachelor’s and Master’s qualifications on offer at German higher education institutions has increased from 79 per cent in the winter semester 2009/2010 to 82 per cent in the winter semester 2010/2011. Studies at Fachhochschulen also lead to Bachelor's and Master's degrees. Students who successfully complete their examination at Berufsakademien may be awarded a Bachelor’s degree. Bachelor’s degrees obtained at Berufsakademien are not higher education degrees but tertiary education qualifications providing qualification for a profession. Universitäten (universities) and equivalent institutions of higher education hold the right to award doctorates. Fachhochschule graduates holding a Master's degree or a qualified Diplom (FH) degree may be admitted for doctoral studies at a university with specified additional requirements. Two- to three-years programmes at schools in the health sector (Schulen des Gesundheitswesens) lead to vocational qualifications in a number of occupations in the health sector.

7. Special needs
The main form of provision is in special schools (Sonderschulen, Förderschulen), but programmes have been introduced to encourage the integration of pupils and students with special needs into mainstream education. In 2009, just less than 5 % of all pupils in full-time compulsory education attended separate schools and a growing number of pupils with special needs were in inclusive settings: 20.1 % of all pupils with special educational needs. In the dual system of vocational education and training, help is provided and regulated by law (Sozialgesetzbuch III) for young people who have special learning problems or who are socially disadvantaged (e.g. support in on-the-job training or vocational training in institutions outside the workplace).

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8. Teachers
All pre-school staff is trained at upper secondary level. Teachers for primary and secondary schools are trained at universities and colleges of art and music, and pass the first and second Staatsprüfung (state examination) in usually two subjects and in educational science. Primary teachers are generalists and secondary teachers are subject specialists. Teachers are generally employed by the Land and have civil servant status as a rule. In recent years, consecutive study courses have been introduced in initial teacher education. The qualifications obtained by successfully attending these new teacher study courses are mutually acknowledged by the Länder if they meet the standards agreed upon by the Standing Conference of the Ministers of Education and Cultural Affairs of the Länder. Unrevised English

Information provided by the German Eurydice Units. For more detailed information on education systems in Europe, you may consult EURYPEDIA which provides descriptions of educational systems and policies in the Eurydice network countries: http://eacea.ec.europa.eu/education/eurypedia

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