Permeability Between Vocational Training and Bachelor’s Degree - From IT Specialist to Bachelor’s Degree in Computer Science Through Adapted Study Design

An interdisciplinary project financed primarily by the research cluster and jointly carried out by Professor Uwe Elsholz, Chair of Lifelong Learning, and Professor Jörg Desel, Chair of Software Engineering and Theory of Programming.

Project duration: 3 years, starting 01.01.2019

The goal of this project is to promote the permeability between vocational training (including work experience) and higher education at the FernUniversität in Hagen by taking into consideration existing competencies, not only in regards to recognition of credits, but also in terms of methodological-didactical approaches.

To this end, a general permeability concept will be developed using the example of vocational training for IT specialists and the bachelor's degree in computer science. In this context, it is possible to reduce the duration of the study program by up to 60 ECTS credits. This kind of reduction expresses a genuine appreciation and recognition of the student’s educational path by considering the relevant competencies of IT specialists.

The central questions of the research project are therefore:

1. How can a university bachelor's degree program be adapted to suit those who have undergone vocational training, so that they can achieve their educational goals with less effort, taking into account existing competencies?

2. How can the bachelor's program in computer science be adapted for IT specialists? Which aspects of the adaptation are specific to this subject?

Scientific project members

The project received an award from the Stifterverband and the DATEV-Stiftung Zukunft in the context of the "Fellowships for Innovation in University Teaching" program - more about the award.



  • Thorbrügge, C., Desel, J., & Schäfer, L. O. (2023). Vorqualifikationen und Anerkennungsoptionen im Informatikstudium. Hochschuldidaktik Informatik HDI 2021 (Commentarii informaticae didacticae), 13, 73–89.


  • Desel, J. (2023, December). Academic and non-academic informatics education – aiming together at a moving target. The Future of European Informatics Education – How to Counter the Skills Shortage Without Compromising on Quality?
  • Kiesler, N., & Thorbrügge, C. (2023). Socially Responsible Programming in Computing Education and Expectations in the Profession. Proceedings of the 2023 Conference on Innovation and Technology in Computer Science Education V. 1, 443–449.



  • Elsholz, U., Schäfer, L. O., & Huynh, H. N. (2022). Kompetenzsensible Studiengestaltung als mehrdimensionale Herausforderung. die hochschule journal für wissenschaft und bildung, 31(1-2), 82–93.


  • Kiesler, N., & Thorbrügge, C. (2022). A Comparative Study of Programming Competencies in Vocational Training and Higher Education. Proceedings of the 27th ACM Conference on Innovation and Technology in Computer Science Education, 1–7.



  • Huynh, H. N., Elsholz, U., & Opel, S. (2021, September). Individuelle Anrechnung außerhochschulischer Kompetenzen am Beispiel eines informatischen Studiengangs. 9. Fachtagung Hochschuldidaktik Informatik (HDI) 2021.
  • Opel, S., Netzer, C. M., & Desel, J. (2021a). AsTRA - An Assessment Tool for Recognition and Adaption of Prior Professional Experience and Vocational Training. Proceedings of OCCE 2021 D℡-IFIP TC3 Conference, 222–233.
  • Opel, S., Netzer, C. M., & Desel, J. (2021b, September). Adaption von Lernwegen in adaptierten Lehrmaterialien für Studierende mit Berufsausbildungsabschluss. 9. Fachtagung Hochschuldidaktik Informatik (HDI) 2021.
  • Thorbrügge, C., Desel, J., & Schäfer, L. O. (2021, September). Studienverkürzung durch Anerkennung von Kompetenzen. Eine Interviewstudie über Vorqualifikationen von Informatikstudierenden. 9. Fachtagung Hochschuldidaktik Informatik (HDI) 2021.



  • Desel, J. (2020). Workshop on Modeling in Higher Education Teaching: Teaching Modeling – Model Teaching. In J. Michael & D. Bork (Eds.), Companion Proceedings of Modellierung 2020 Short, Workshop and Tools & Demo Papers co-located with Modellierung 2020.

Phd Thesis

  • Opel, S. (2020). Entwicklung eines arbeitsprozessorientierten Kompetenzstrukturmodells für die Ausbildung zum Fachinformatiker bzw. zur Fachinformatikerin [PhD thesis, DuEPublico: Duisburg-Essen Publications online, University of Duisburg-Essen, Germany].