Economic Sector(s): Manufacturing, Professional, scientific and technical activities
Theme(s): Delivery of WBL, Partnership
Educational field and level: Higher Education (ISCED 2001: 6)
Target groups: Management (Education and Training), Teachers and Trainers (Education and Training), Management in the Workplace, Trainers in the Workplace
A good practice example for work based learning in higher education based on close and comprehensive cooperation between the university and companies.
The dual study programme at the FH Joanneum in Graz (AT) started in 2002 and was designed in close cooperation with regional companies and engineering VET colleges (ISCED 5), based on the idea of dual study programmes in Germany. The full-time cooperative programme 'Production Technology and Organisation' provides specialised education in manufacturing and process engineering.
30 learners start the Bachelor programme each year by two semesters of theoretical learning. After that, students learn in alternating, 3-month lasting phases at the University of Applied Science and the training company. WBL is based on pre-defined learning modules and involvement in regular working processes. Bachelor theses are written in cooperation with the company. Recently a dual Master programme was implemented and dual study programmes were started at other Universities of Applied Science in Austria.
Success factors and challenges for WBL
A success factor of the program is the systematically implemented labour market feedback by regular meetings with companies, exchange meetings among company trainers and student conferences together with companies. Moreover companies are involved in application processes and curriculum development. A close link between theoretical and practical learning is ensured by the reflection of company-based learning phases at the university in seminars and reports. Companies and learners are satisfied with the programme and most students are offered a job in their training company after graduation. However, the programme is also a challenge for learners, as students have limited time due to double liability. Moreover securing overall quality on learning contents is an obstacle, as the practical training differs by company.
Website of the programme: http://www.fh-joanneum.at/aw/home/Studienangebot_Uebersicht/department_engineering/~cyz/pto/?lan=en
Case study summary within the WBLIC project: http://www.wblic.org.uk/wblhe/files/WBLIC_Case_Study_Summaries.pdf