德国著名的职业教育体系能否出口?

英国的部长们被建议开始着眼于一些关键特征,例如与雇主建立伙伴关系,而非使用德国体系作为“商标”

八月 19, 2020
New Audi AG automobiles, manufactured by Volkswagen AG, sit under protective covers on a railway transporter beside a platform at Ingolstadt central train station in Ingolstadt, Germany
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围绕教育政策的政治言论证实了《旧约传道书》所表达的智慧:“阳光之下,再无新事”。

就像地球绕着太阳公转一样,世界上某个地方的教育部长总会拍一拍讲台,再次表示他们的国家必须效仿德国世界领先的职业教育体系。可想而知地,评论家们则会再次反对,认为该体系是由德国的经济和文化所塑造的,无法转移到其他国家。

这一切都是陈词滥调,以至于注意到这是陈词滥调的观察,也是陈词滥调。

英国政府的教育大臣加文・威廉姆森(Gavin Williamson)上个月在演讲中就来到了其职业生涯中不可避免的这个阶段。他承诺结束英格兰高等教育的扩张时代,并“建立一套世界一流的德国式继续教育制度”。

但是这一次,我们有理由更仔细地听一听这熟悉的言论。如今,威斯敏斯特政府有强大的政治动力来实现这个目标:保守党新的、绝大多数是非大学生的选民,大多身在支持脱欧的中北部地区,在各种进修学院,而非大学中。此外,新冠危机(还可能来自英国脱欧)的经济冲击带来了对工作与教育之间关系的新思维的迫切需求。

这一切不仅对学生和继续教育学院很重要;对于大学,作为职业教育的提供者,以及可能由于威廉姆森先生的“德国式继续教育”而获得更少资源的高校,也同样重要。

因此,我们应该多么认真地对待在英国创建德国式职业培训体系的期望?政府又应该模仿该体系的哪些特征?

德语国家的职业系统在市场驱动和国家管制的方法下走了一条中间路线,采用了双重原则,即“公司培训负责学习者的教育实践部分,而职业学院提供理论指导”。该方法符合德国更广泛的社会统合精神,强调国家、公司和工人之间的合作。

德国的贝塔斯曼基金会(Bertelsmann Stiftung)是一家致力于创新的政策基金会。该基金会于2015年出版的关于德国职业教育是否可以成为其他国家的“可出口蓝图的报告中进行了解释。

该报告由圣加伦大学(University of St Gallen)商业教育与教育管理学院的职业教育专家和名誉教授迪特·欧拉(Dieter Euler)合著。他对威廉姆森先生的德国志向有何看法?

欧拉教授对其措辞表示质疑,他的措辞是“建立基于雇主主导标准的高质量资格证书”。欧拉教授说:“在德国,这样的标准不仅仅是由雇主主导的。相反,它们是由教育机构、工会和雇主协会的代表进行谈判而制定的。”

雇主、工会和政府参与(教育是德国16个州政府的职责)是德国职业体系的关键特征。确保提供工作的公司以及工人都认可这些资格证书是至关重要的。

欧拉教授说,与此同时,威廉姆森先生以“非常模糊的方式”使用了“学徒制”一词,“这可以被解释为让年轻人从事一份工作,然后再把他们送上一所继续教育学院。”

欧拉教授继续说道,在德国,也有基于工作的学徒制,公司有义务根据课程对学徒进行培训,最后进行评估。他补充说,有越来越多的与大学学习相关联的学徒制,能在4年后授予学士学位和学徒制学位(类似于学位学徒制,但在演讲中没有特别被提及)。

欧拉教授说,总体而言,威廉姆森先生的讲话“只是将‘德国式继续教育体系’作为商标,而没有认真提及该概念的关键组成部分”。

其他人则质疑“德国式继续教育”愿景中继续教育与高等教育之间的区别。经济合作与发展组织(OECD)教育与技能主管(同时也是一位德国人)安德烈亚斯·施莱希尔(Andreas Schleicher)表示,关键问题是“各国如何更好地融合劳动世界和学习世界”。

他认为,“学术和职业学习机会之间的区别已经失去了很多意义……过去,我们曾经学会做事,现在学习才是工作,这赋予了职业教育全新的含义。

“英国当然可以从德国的职业教育体系中学到的东西是,这不应是万不得已,而应是第一选择;而且,它不应该成为主要针对低质量体力劳动的教育,而是对任何职业都适用的不同学习方式。”

这些都凸显出,雇主的密切参与以及德国对职业教育(或至少是最好的)的高度重视,是该制度成功的两个主要因素——大多数其他发达国家基本上都缺失这些因素。

对于南加州大学(University of Southern California)普利亚斯高等教育中心的名誉教授兼创始主任威廉·蒂尔尼(William Tierney)而言,缺少这些因素是“美国从未在将教育与就业联系起来方面做得特别出色”的原因。

蒂尔尼教授与他人合著了2015年普利亚斯中心的一份报告,该报告介绍了德国为美国职业教育提供的经验教训。报告指出,德国的经济基础通常是位于较小城市中稳定的、家族拥有的中型企业,再加上要求在公司管理委员会中有工人代表,“使德国与其他国家区分开来,使其职业教育体系可行”。

报告认为,相比之下,美国商业部门“比德国商业部门更加依赖大公司和私人资本”,并且“只要美国的大公司主要受股东需求驱动,它们就必须重视盈利能力和效率”,而不会在学徒训练制员工的教育上投入过多。

此外,蒂尔尼教授观察到,美国长期以来一直在将“贫困”和少数族裔学生“追踪”到社区大学中公认的“较小”职业培训领域,而非四年制学位,因此,职业课程被认为地位较低,且只会走向低薪工作。

美国总统唐纳德·特朗普(Donald Trump)曾出色但又不经意地强调了这种身份差距。 2017年,他与德国商界领袖举行了一次职业培训圆桌会议,在会议上他赞扬地谈到了德国制度。然后,他将职业教育描述为四年制学位的替代选择,针对那些“不一定擅长(学术途径),但又擅长其他方面,例如修理引擎和制造事物的人”。

在德国,情况并非如此。

德国的学校系统将学生分为不同的方向。大约40%的学生获得了高中会考文凭(Abitur),使他们有资格进入大学。但是,这些学生中约有14万人选择了学徒制,占2018年新注册学徒的30%。完成学徒制后,其中约有一半的学生选择继续攻读大学学位。

但这并不是说决策者不应该尝试借鉴德国最好的制度。曼彻斯特大学(University of Manchester)政府实践教授、前工党政府特别顾问安迪·韦斯特伍德(Andy Westwood)说, “德国职业教育与培训系统(VET)的许多方面都很好,值得复制。我们已经说了100多年了。”他曾是2004年《里奇技能评论》的成员。

然而,他认为,对于英国的部长们来说,有关“德国”的言论“既是对大学的攻击……又是对他们政治基础的诉求”。

如果部长们要超越这一点(大学将不可避免地成为任何新职业体系的组成部分)并做出真正的尝试来模仿德国职业体系的各个方面,那就意味着要注意其关键的基础特征。

韦斯特伍德教授将这些总结为“文化:像重视学术那般重视技术;伙伴关系:与雇主、工会和地方政府合作;资金:所有路线持续行高水平投入;稳定:系统(和)机构不会不断变化”。

贝塔斯曼基金会的报告说:“将职业教育系统从一个国家出口到另一个国家,不仅是复制原始系统的问题,而且是进口国选择和适应的过程。”但是,报告补充说:“由于职业教育和培训系统被嵌入特定的经济、文化和社会系统中,因此只有在进口国的条件可比的情况下,才可以出口该职业教育系统或其各个组成部分。”

一个主要的问题是,考虑到其高等教育的严格分级制,英格兰职业教育的社会地位是否能够改变?在该制度中,对社会最有选择性的大学排在首位,其毕业生能获得最负盛名的工作。

但是,认真地向德国学习的尝试将涉及到努力改变英国雇主的态度——这些德国雇主大多将雇员的教育视为自己的责任;并思考德国公司所有权和管理结构如何塑造雇主支持员工教育的意愿。

这涉及将教育政策与经济政策结合起来,以研究经济和劳动力市场的结构塑造学生就业前景的方式,而不是在收入结果被认为不合格时指责高等教育机构,随即制定脱欧后英国的先进制造业助推新学徒制的愿景。

这将包括停止18岁以上教育中无休止的政策动荡——这对一个集权的、高度集中的威斯敏斯特政治体系是一个艰难的要求,因为这个体系中保守党(大多数时间)和工党(有时)只为自己争取全部权力并转变政策。从英国脱欧公投以来保守党的意识形态转变中可以看出,有时候转机来自同一个政党。

如果德国职业教育的成功建立在国家、雇主、工人和教育机构之间建立共识的基础上,那么在英国取得类似的成功将是真正激进的。共识政治是德国的产品,在英国脱欧时代不太可能跨北海进口。

john.morgan@timeshighereducation.com

本文由张万琪为泰晤士高等教育翻译。

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Print headline: Can England copy German-style FE?

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Reader's comments (4)

This debate was not new when I wrote an essay for a competition as a schoolboy in 1979. In fact, I believe the original idea of the system that I went through was to have a vocational element that never came to pass. The trouble seems to be that it takes a very long time to conceive, design, implement and operate a new system, and politicians have short horizons. There is also the long-standing image of my own subject of engineering. I doubt that most of the public would recognise my work and that of many of my colleagues as engineering since there is a very old-fashioned perception in society.
I think as long as higher education is suffering from increasing tuition costs many prospective students have to make a decision if a college degree is still worthwile if the job market does not guarantee a job after graduation. Therefore, a vocational training could be a good alternative for certain positions. After all, a college degree can still be achived also in later years.
1979 was a key time for UK industry - the Finniston Report came out which encouraged some control over the engineering profession to try to get our status up with the other "respected" professions. The end result made the controls tighter for professional membership but nothing happened on the respect part. Indeed Thatcher & co. used "industry" to mean "problem" and cast our country to bankers, lawyers and accountants which ultimately meant the only commerce that really grew for three decades was gambling and entertainment. The ability to create real things ebbed away to Asia and the rest of Europe, the USA followed a similar line. We could then but can't now, make our own: cars, railway equipment, power stations (conventional, renewable or nuclear), medical equipment, ships, ... Because at every step there has never really been government support to buy anything but the cheapest - invariably from other continents where the people who do the work are practically slaves. Some of them have learned, initially by copying then by sending their young to get educated, now they can educate themselves - in all the dirty "Industry" skills and ... in all the other skills. How long will it take for our last big sector - finance - to be offshored? What will be left: "England, England" (Julian Barnes 1998)?
Until the UK has a grown up and neutral discussion about the distinctions between Education and Training, devoid of vested interest, there is little point in importing anything from anywhere which purports to advance any vocational development. Proper Universities, i.e. those prior to 1992, were never responsibility for their students' employment and neither should they have been; their mission was predominantly Education and not training. Medicine has always been a notable exception. Polytechnics, however, have accepted some responsibility for their students' future employment because they were largely preparing their vocational graduates for formal 'Professional Certification' under the auspices of Professional bodies, something Universities did not do. FE Colleges were supposed to have been where general principles of the multitude of professional trades were explained to young, wannabe skills based professionals. Formal education was not at the core of what they did ... they focused only on the applied and directed support required of their training in their workplace. Licences to practice enable an individual to apply for a position within their chosen profession because they have been formally adjudged BY A PROFESSION/INDUSTRY to have the minimal credentials to do. Some practising industry individual(s) will have declared that the holder of their professional body's certificate has made the 'grade' and can be trusted to perform to a minimal professional standard. No professional has ever been issued with this kind of certificate by any educational establishment regardless of where they appear on the Education - Training spectrum. No pupil or student ever exits their place of learning as the finished article ready for employment in a chosen field. ALL of them are required to be trained to a minimum standard and it's the role of the employer to do so. Over the years many employers have complained of the cost of training an individual only to lose them after that training has finished. The same employers seem not complain when they gain a suitably trained individual from another company!! So, part of the grown up discussion requires a new vision to emerge which identifies the universal benefit of education and training. A wider vision about economy and community. A supportive attitude without an immediate payoff. This vision and this attitude is what Germany has and it is what the UK, at the moment, does not understand. So what is the point of importing it??

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