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Post-Secondary Education and Training


Globalization, advancing technology and the increasing role information is playing in modern society are all having a major impact on the job market. Young people must now learn to take responsibility at an early age for their career paths and future employment opportunities. Especially in times of change such as these, they need a solid foundation consisting of a general education and quality job-related experiences. Our objective is to ensure each student has access to the educational and training opportunities that best reflect his or her own situation. Young people must have a wide range of individualized development possibilities available to them, regardless of whether they are on a vocational, technical or general educational path. The Bertelsmann Stiftung is therefore committed to helping create flexible structures within Germany’s educational system designed to achieve this goal.

Focus Areas


Higher Education

The CHE Centre for Higher Education creates new approaches for the German and European systems of higher education. The goal is to realize the “university unbound” - an institution that is autonomous, academically rigorous, cost effective and competitive, as well as internationally recognized and open to the use of new media. CHE thus addresses the entire academic system, including the role it plays in promoting social development and change. It also uses white papers and studies along with cross-border comparisons and international events to engage in a critical dialogue with educational leaders and policymakers. It also produces Germany’s most extensive and detailed university ranking, covering both German and European institutions. The ranking is designed to guide students to the higher education institution that is right for them, regardless of whether they have yet to begin or have already commenced their academic career. In addition, the ranking is used by universities themselves as a source of objective, well-researched information.

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Systematic School-to-Work Transitions

Having completed their schooling, hundreds of thousands of young people in Germany find themselves stalled in what is known as the “transition system,” since not enough regular career-training slots can be found for them. The designation “transition system” is a misnomer in a dual sense: On the one hand, its patchwork of individual programs rarely leads to an actual transition from school to work and, on the other, it is anything but systematic. The Bertelsmann Stiftung remains dedicated to addressing this challenge. With its initiative Systematic School-to-Work Transitions, it is promoting reforms designed to reduce the profusion of transitional measures and working to increase opportunities for young people as they gain initial experience in their chosen careers.


Youth and Work

As we transition to a 21st-century, knowledge-based society, the topic of employability is becoming critically important. To remain employable over time, individuals must take responsibility at an early age for their coming career paths. The business community and society as a whole thus face the key challenge of helping young people lay the basis for their future employment opportunities.


Vocational Training: Opportunities for Everyone

Vocational training in Germany has always been a major factor in providing the economy skilled labor while integrating young people into professional life. Ensuring equal opportunity for German youth requires flexibility in the routes to qualification provided by the regular system. The "Vocational Training: Opportunities for Everyone" project focuses on three pillars of activity: First, the project is building a cooperation network of key vocational training stakeholders in Germany to design a reform plan that would render the current system more flexible. Second, in the works is a report that explores the extent to which vocational training in Germany provides equal opportunity and supplies the economy with skilled labor. Third, the project is building a network of international cooperation partners in fostering dual vocational training systems abroad.


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