Continuing education includes retraining and Meister courses, language courses, a second chance to sit for school-leaving examinations, as well as more leisure-oriented courses. Continuing education means the continuation of all types of learning following the end of regular education and training during one's youth. The state provides funding for this phase of learning too.
The term "continuing education" covers three areas of learning opportunities:
General continuing education covers all opportunities for education which are not immediately related to a person's career.
In practice, vocational and general continuing education are interlinked. One example here is the provision of general skills which exceed the special skills required at a person's place of work. Learning a foreign language is a typical example. These so-called "key competences" do not only serve the individual's general personality development but are also of great importance for his or her career in the working world. Such competences include communication and team skills, creativity and media literacy. Added to these are political and cultural continuing education. Higher education institutions and non-state providers in the field of continuing academic education offer general as well as vocational continuing education programmes.
Continuing vocational education and training is the traditional field for courses to extend or supplement vocational skills. Social Code III now calls the concept that used to be known as further training "continuing education". Everyday practice distinguishes between retraining, upgrading training and updating training.
Everyone who has completed a degree course will want to keep their knowledge up to date. However, continuing education programmes at institutions of higher education are not only aimed at graduates but also at people without a degree who wish to familiarize themselves with academic methods and findings within the framework of their career development. One example of such courses is continuing education in the field of IT which steers trainees towards a master's degree.
The BMBF also aims to protect consumers on the market for continuing education. It is therefore funding education tests which are conducted by the STIFTUNG WARENTEST and has introduced the Distance Learning Protection Act to protect distance learning customers.
Deutsche Version dieser Seite
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Eckdaten zum BSW-AES 2007 (URL: http://www.bmbf.de/pubRD/weiterbildungsbeteiligung_in_deutschland.pdf)
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Schlussbericht (URL: http://www.bmbf.de/pubRD/berufliche_und_soziale_lage_von_lehrenden_in_weiterbildungseinrichtungen.pdf)
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Kurzfassung der Studie zur Nutzung von Weiterbildungsangeboten der LMU München und der Uni Düsseldorf. März, 2004 (URL: http://www.bmbf.de/pubRD/weiterbildungsverhalten_und_interessen.pdf)
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