Germany has started to look for new ways of training its future business personnel. The innovative University of Cooperative Education (Berufsakademie or BA as it is called in German and now renamed as the ‘Dual Hochschule Baden-Württemberg (DHBW)’ in that state) educates student trainees as opposed to traditional business apprenticeships. This investigation attempts to discover whether this represents a change in the paradigm of business education in Germany and how this relates to the needs in particular of SME’s (Mittelstand). It compares the BA/DHBW with other providers in the light of the country’s dual education philosophy, investigating whether it is new or merely an extension or adaptation of previous strategies. Making use of secondary data gleaned from the Internet and published material, primary quantitative data collected via a questionnaire distributed to companies and students as well as qualitative data collected via a focus group in 2003, it investigates the perceived value of the more traditional types of basic business education in Germany compared to the BA/DHBW as well as their expected contribution to change management and knowledge sharing.
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