Baden-Wuerttemberg Cooperative State University (Duale Hochschule Baden-Württemberg – DHBW)

Who are we?

Baden-Wuerttemberg Cooperative State University (Duale Hochschule Baden-Württemberg – DHBW) is the first higher education institution in Germany to integrate academic studies with workplace training within the curriculum. This means that students regularly switch, every three months, from their academic studies at the university to practical training at their partner company. The DHBW Heilbronn is the latest location of the State University System. The organization structure of DHBW is unique in Germany for it comprises both the central (DHBW headquarters in Stuttgart) and the local level (9 DHBW locations and 3 campuses). With around 34,000 enrolled students, over 9,000 partner companies and more than 125,000 graduates, DHBW counts as one of the largest HE institutions in the German Federal State of Baden-Wuerttemberg. All degree programmes are both nationally and internationally accredited, count as intensive study programs and are worth 210 ECTS credits. In addition, DHBW offers career-integrated postgraduate study programmes at its Center for Advanced Studies.

DHBW was granted the legal status of a university in 2009. But it traces its roots back to the University of Cooperative Education BA BW (“Berufsakademie Baden-Württemberg”), founded in 1974. More than 40 years ago, this model was initiated by renowned companies as Robert Bosch, Daimler-Benz and SEL. Therefore the success of the DHBW started with lifting up Vocational Education and Training to Higher Education. In 2009, the federal state granted Berufsakademie Baden-Wuerttemberg the legal status of a university and it can since grant academic degrees.

Why we are participating in the project

By joining forces with partners from across Europe, DHBW has the possibility to develop and validate open learning concepts with European impact and adoption. Researchers at DHBW have run research projects specifically on topics of open education in terms of quality assurance and recognition of new forms of education in the field of digital skills and competences. DHBW has been leading EU projects, such as MicroHE (Support Future Learning Excellence through Micro-Credentialing in Higher Education) and OEPass (Open Education Passport), implicitly aligned with the research of credentialing in the form of digital badges, nano-degrees, and micro-credentialing as new concepts advocated for use in the acknowledgement of coursework taken online.

Due to its HE experience and partner network, the DHBW focuses on the development of innovative quality concepts by working with leading industry partners showing a strong commitment towards innovation in education. The construct of the dual education collaboration of the DHBW and their partner companies ensures continuous feedback and engagement by key industry stakeholders in Germany and especially in Baden-Wuerttemberg. The German Federal State of Baden-Wuerttemberg is one of the leading economic regions across Europe, home to internationally renowned corporations and thousands of successful SMEs.

Our role in the project

As mentioned above, DHBW Heilbronn has coordinated the OEPass and MicroHE projects, which laid conceptual foundations for ECCOE by developing a Learning Passport and a Credentials Metadata Standard.

DHBW’s main responsibilities in ECCOE include:

  • Setting up a procedure and templates for Network partnership and its conditions;
  • Populating the ECCOE system with approved courses;
  • Public piloting of awarding and recognition processes of credentials within the ECCOE-System;
  • Drafting and publishing an official user’s guide to using the platform to document and recognise digital credentials.

Our Team

Prof. Dr. Günter Käßer-Pawelka

Prof. Dr. Günter Käßer-Pawelka

Head of Research and Laboratories at the DHBW Heilbronn

Prof. Dr. Günter Käßer-Pawelka is the Head of Research and Laboratories at the DHBW Heilbronn. He has been working as a Professor for the DHBW since 1989 at different positions and locations. Other priorities were the initiation and development of the alumni organization of the DHBW Stuttgart and the establishment of a teaching and research center for applied research with a focus on apparatus and qualitative market research. Since 2007, he is the President of the Marketing Club Heilbronn.

Raimund Hudak

Raimund Hudak

Senior Researcher and Project Manager

As senior lecturer and researcher with around 15 years of experience at leading academic institutions, Raimund Hudak has been involved in various research programmes in Germany and abroad. Raimund Hudak is the Project Manager at the Cooperative State University Baden-Wuerttemberg Heilbronn in the European-wide research projects. He is also the CEO of Synesis’ European practice. He holds an MBA in business and international marketing from the Institute for Technology and commerce in Reutlingen, MSc and undergraduate degrees in optics and photo engineering from FH Köln.

Jochen Ehrenreich

Jochen Ehrenreich

Senior Researcher

Jochen Ehrenreich is a senior researcher at DHBW Heilbronn. He built his expertise in fields like University Governance, Quality Assurance and Accreditation, Lifelong Learning and Technology Transfer through hands-on project work at various institutions in Higher Education and in Lifelong Learning. He holds a Master’s degree of Economics and Business Administration from the University of Witten/Herdecke, Germany’s first private university.