Towards the Compatibility of Professional and Scientific Learning Outcomes: Insights and Options in the Context of Competence Orientation

  • Volker Rein Federal Institute for Vocational Education and Training (BIBB), Germany
Keywords: VET, Vocational Education and Training, Competence, Professional and Scientific Learning Outcomes, Vocational and Academic Education


The steady increase in science-related requirements in operational areas of skilled and managing workforce is influencing worldwide the discourse on shaping professionalization.  This article focuses on the compatibility of professional and scientific competence-oriented learning outcomes of qualification programmes within and across the education and training sectors. It is assumed that there is not, per se, a conceptual dichotomy in designing education and training programmes and credentials in a competence-oriented manner to address complex  professional  and scientific  requirements in education and training in a compatible way.

The article tries to shift the discussion  from a systemic and institutional focus to a conceptual- and requirement-oriented perspective on qualification design.  Using Germany as an example, it discusses the conceptual intersections of Vocational Education and Training and academic Higher Education  on competence,  and comparatively analyzes competence-oriented instruments for the classification and the transparency of learning outcomes and their application in the education practice of  dual study programmes with vocational reference qualifications. On this basis, the article elucidates identified characteristics of comprehensive professional-scientific competences and relevant requirement areas in education and training. In addition, further  prerequisites for an integrated competence acquisition in education programmes are discussed as well. It is assumed that these characteristics can also be regarded as  important prerequisites for the connectivity of qualifications and permeable pathways  within and between education systems.