organized by the Institute for Employment Research (IAB) and the German Centre for Higher Education Research and Science Studies (DZHW), with a special focus on “Combining Academic Training and Practical Work Experience in Tertiary Education”.


Including practical work and work-based learning in higher education curricula has become increasingly popular, both to increase graduate employability and to improve the permeability between vocational and university education.
The implementation of practical experience in higher education is country-specific and takes different forms, from internships to integrated curricula as in the “dual-study” model of German universities of cooperative education.
The conference aims to bring together experiences and research results on different aspects of practice integration from various countries. We are particularly interested in:

▪ Stocktaking: What forms of practice integration exist in the higher education systems of different countries? What are their characteristics, advantages and disadvantages? Is practice integration increasing, and how do the developments compare between different countries?
▪ Student characteristics: Which types of students (e.g., high-achieving; non-academic background) are attracted to practice-oriented study programmes? What are their motives for choosing them?
▪ Effects: How does work experience and practice orientation in higher education affect students’ skills, confidence, and motivation? Compared to less practice-oriented study programmes, are there differences in final grades, study-to-work transitions, job prospects, and income?
▪ Internationalisation: How can internationalisation be implemented with regard to practice orientation in higher education? What are the special needs of international students?
▪ Measurement and recognition of achievements: How can student achievements in practice phases be measured and integrated into the academic system of exams and grades? What are the problems in aligning practical and academic evaluation?
▪ Cooperation of stakeholders: How can the cooperation between universities and stakeholders, e.g. vocational schools and companies, be improved? What formal framework is required?

Moreover, the conference offers sessions with a more general perspective on “Higher Education and the Labour Market”, for example on returns to tertiary education, university dropout, graduates’ placement on the labour market, and regional mobility of graduates.


  • Sandra McNally (University of Surrey)
  • Stephen Billet (Griffith University, Queensland)

We welcome empirical contributions on the focus topic as well as on the general topics from various disciplines, particularly from Economics, Social Sciences, and Educational Sciences. Please submit a short outline (max. 500 words) by July 1st 2023 to





Silke Anger (IAB & Univ. of Bamberg), Bernhard Christoph (IAB), Anja Gottburgsen (DZHW), Monika Jungbauer-Gans (DZHW & Univ. of Hannover), Nancy Kracke (DZHW), Markus Nagler (Univ. of Erlangen-Nuremberg), Jessica Ordemann (DZHW), Frauke Peter (DZHW)

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