Relaunching the dual study course

A second chance – a dual study course

Many students drop out of their traditional attendance study courses and at the same time dual study courses are gaining in popularity. The IUBH in Dortmund is therefore dedicating its own series of events to relaunching the dual study course.


According to research in January 2017 by the DZHW (German Centre for Higher Education and Science), every third student in Germany drops out of his BA course. Alarmingly high figures which have continued to rise over the last few years.

“Before my course at the IUBH I tried not only one but two courses and dropped out of them again quite quickly. The first time was because I had the wrong idea about career chances and the salary later. Also it was too deadpan and not varied enough. The second time was because the course theory didn’t have much to do with the actual job”, explains Hannah, dual course student in Social Studies at the IUBH in Dortmund.

Too little practical relevance frustrates attendance course students

The same goes for a lot of students, which is proven by the DZHW study: The lack of job and practical relevance in the course played an important role for about half the dropouts. Fifty-nine per cent of dropouts say there was not enough practical relevance in their courses at university. This problem exists above all at universities where three out of four dropouts state a desire for more practical orientation. In comparison, it is only 64 per cent at polytechnics.

Maximiliane’s story shows us that these are not the only reasons. She also dropped out of her first course after she felt like just a matriculation number at the public university and felt left alone with her questions and concerns. She explains “It was difficult to find your way because there was not much help”.

Relaunching the dual study courseDual courses are gaining in popularity

Maximiliane and Hannah came across an alternative study programme at the IUBH. “I am not a theoretical person at all – I don’t really like just academic learning. Thanks to the dual system I have a varied course. I don’t just sit in a seminar room but also get out into everyday working life” Hannah says and is pleased about her choice of studies. “Now I know what I am studying for because I can establish a direct relevance to my practice partners and the sector. This was really the most important thing for me because before I kept finding myself thinking “what am I even learning all of this for?” and “what do I need this for later?” Maximiliane explains, who is now studying the tourism business in a dual course.

According to the current education report “Education in Germany 2018”, it’s above all young people who want to quickly be financially independent and have an inclination to practical jobs, who start a dual studies course. From 2013 to 2017 the number of students at the IUBH alone who decided on a dual course rose from 761 to 2,662 – this represents an increase of nearly 350 per cent. This not only verifies the increasing popularity of dual courses but also the fact that this particular type of link between professional and higher educational qualifications has finally been discovered by dropouts as a study option.

What’s next after dropping out of studies?

“A “normal” course was not an option for me after my bad experiences. The dual course gives me the opportunity to directly use everything that I have studied. You have a reason to study because you know exactly that what you are studying will bring you on. So your motivation is just much greater”, is how Maximiliane explains her choice. Hannah was convinced by the IUBH looking for practice partners and she hasn’t regretted her decision up until now: “Personally, the dual course at the IUBH is better for me than a regular attendance course. The group is manageable and in the lectures you can talk with the lecturers and even critically question the content. I can only recommend it.”

Robert Werner, Head of Campus at the IUBH Dual Study Dept. in Dortmund also often hears about students dropping out because they miss the practical relevance in their old universities. “We have a lot of applicants who tell us that they didn’t feel they were getting enough support at their old universities and had the feeling they didn’t know what they were gaining the knowledge for.” That’s why the campus started up the “Relaunching the dual study course” info event. In it we talk about what happens after dropping out of courses and how the dual course works, but also about which jobs might suit and which practice companies come in to question. There is also always a student advisor to hand for individual questions. “The first event was already a great success. We hope that we can advise and support many more young people on their way to their future.”


Anyone interested can find the current dates of the info event “Relaunching the dual study course” at the Dortmund campus of the IUBH at


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