Working group on education: Recruitment of young people and study numbers

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The spring meeting of the Training Working Group was held at the Erfurt University of Applied Sciences on March 29 and 30, 2019.

The university offers a six-semester Bachelor's and a consecutive four-semester Master's programme in landscape architecture. A special feature of the Master's degree is that it can be studied with or without a specialisation. The course of study in Erfurt is thus exemplary for a generalist university education with the imparting of knowledge and competences in all essential areas of landscape architecture.

In view of the shortage of specialists in planning offices, there are sometimes calls to increase study capacities or to set up additional courses of study. A prerequisite for such a discussion is first of all to know the actual situation. The Working Group on Education and Training is therefore pursuing the goal of compiling nationwide statistics on the number of students and graduates. In terms of recruiting young people, it is important to interest enough young people in studying landscape architecture.

One means of countering the shortage of skilled workers is the employment of foreign graduates or engineers. The prerequisite for their professional qualification is not only subject-specific competences such as design, EDP application, presentation and construction technology, but also knowledge of German peculiarities such as authority and administrative structures, planning and construction law. A command of the German language, both written and spoken, is indispensable - even under unfavourable circumstances, e.g. construction site noise, telephone calls, etc.

For the universities, recruiting foreign students offers an opportunity to counter falling student numbers, as several recent studies have shown. Beyond the actual studies, however, there is a need for targeted support of these students, e.g. with information on study organisation, official jungle and the job market, and not least with programmes for social integration and networking.

Source: bdla association magazine "Landschaftsarchitekten" 2/2019

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