When the world gets closer.

We help you see farther.

Sign up to our expressly international daily newsletter.

Already a subscriber? Log in .

You've reached your limit of one free article.

Get unlimited access to Worldcrunch

You can cancel anytime .


Exclusive International news coverage

Ad-free experience NEW

Weekly digital Magazine NEW

9 daily & weekly Newsletters

Access to Worldcrunch archives

Free trial

30-days free access, then $2.90
per month.

Annual Access BEST VALUE

$19.90 per year, save $14.90 compared to monthly billing.save $14.90.

Subscribe to Worldcrunch

In Germany, Calls For A 'Blue-Collar' Bachelor's Degree

Concerned that skilled tradespeople don’t get the respect they deserve, some in Germany are promoting the idea of a “Professional Bachelor’s” degree. For now, universities and their government allies dismiss the idea as “confusing.”

German dockworkers
German dockworkers


Registrations at German universities are skyrocketing as more and more families choose higher education over trade school training for their offspring. The problem, say trade lobbyists, isn't just that the country will end up with fewer trained craftspeople. There are also questions of status at stake. Increasingly, Germans see non-academic avenues as having less "value" than the university route.

That's why some trades representatives are promoting the idea of a Bachelor degree for people pursuing non-academic training. The proposed "Professional Bachelor's' degree would be a way, at least as far as status is concerned, to even the proverbial playing field.

Roofer Willy Hesse, president of an association of skilled craftsmen, believes that many young people who are pointed down the academic route would be better off doing apprenticeships. He also insists that well-trained craftspersons have no reason to feel inferior to people with university bachelor degrees. But given that so many in Germany feel otherwise, Hesse and other heads of sectors in the trades and crafts support the "Professional Bachelor's' degree plan.

The academic community is against the proposal, as are government-level education officials. Bavaria's minister for education, Ludwig Spaenle, likes to joke that surely things won't get to the point where there is a "Bachelor of Hairdressing."

Like many in the academic community, the federal Ministry of Education believes the "Professional Bachelor" could too easily be confused with an academic degree. Matthias Lung, director of the Bavarian Advertising and Marketing Academy, agrees. A student in Munich took a poll, he said, to find out what a "Professional Bachelor" degree suggested to the public at large, and no one had a clue what it might represent.

Presently, it looks as if the tradespeople are going to have a tough time obtaining a "Professional Bachelor's' degree. Still, all is not lost in their effort to protect the prestige of skilled trades. Politicians, social partners and representatives of the universities are presently working on a "German qualifications framework" that ranks all different types of certificates and degrees into eight levels.

The point of the project is to establish equivalent standards at the European level. In this framework, those with doctorates would be ranked No. 8 – the highest. Master craftspersons and technicians are presently slotted in at level six, the same level as college graduates who have earned a Bachelor degree.

Read the full article in German by Tanjev Schultz

Photo - roger4336

*Newsbites are digest items, not direct translations

You've reached your limit of free articles.

To read the full story, start your free trial today.

Get unlimited access. Cancel anytime.

Exclusive coverage from the world's top sources, in English for the first time.

Insights from the widest range of perspectives, languages and countries.


How A Xi Jinping Dinner In San Francisco May Have Sealed Mastercard's Arrival In China

The credit giant becomes only the second player after American Express to be allowed to set up a bank card-clearing RMB operation in mainland China.

Photo of a hand holding a phone displaying an Union Pay logo, with a Mastercard VISA logo in the background of the photo.

Mastercard has just been granted a bank card clearing license in China.

Liu Qianshan


It appears that one of the biggest beneficiaries from Chinese President Xi Jinping's visit to San Francisco was Mastercard.

The U.S. credit card giant has since secured eagerly anticipated approval to expand in China's massive financial sector, having finally obtained long sought approval from China's central bank and financial regulatory authorities to initiate a bank card business in China through its joint venture with its new Chinese partner.

For the latest news & views from every corner of the world, Worldcrunch Today is the only truly international newsletter. Sign up here.

Through a joint venture in China between Mastercard and China's NetsUnion Clearing Corporation, dubbed Mastercard NUCC, it has officially entered mainland China as an RMB currency clearing organization. It's only the second foreign business of its kind to do so following American Express in 2020.

The Wall Street Journal has reported that the development is linked to Chinese President Xi Jinping's meeting on Nov. 15 with U.S. President Joe Biden in San Francisco, part of a two-day visit that also included dinner that Xi had with U.S. business executives.

Keep reading...Show less

The latest