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Leading the way with diversity – Education in Bavaria remains at the top
Education continues to be a key building block in defending a region's leading position in economic competition. This is why Bavaria funds a number of projects, contact points and institutions in order to optimise education and training in the municipalities, strengthening the regional economy.
Among the most recent additions is the Transferagentur Bayern für Kommunales Bildungsmanagement (Bavarian transfer agency for municipal education management), funded by the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research. Its goal is to create and expand equality in education. It does this by identifying local education options and pooling existing resources to develop an overall concept for the region. With regional offices in Nuremberg and Munich, the agency offers educational institutions and other interested parties two points of contact. In terms of content, the transfer agency is based on the funding programme “Learning Locally”, which collected data and analysed the status quo in 35 German districts and municipalities between 2009 and 2014. The transfer agencies are now charged with putting these findings into practice. To do so, they organise conferences, provide advice and support, define regional focuses, develop target agreements and conduct interviews with education authorities.
On 26th June 2015, an agency network was also set up to allow municipalities to discuss their education strategies. Current examples of the agency's work: In Kaufbeuren, a four-level model for municipal, neutral education advice has been established. The cities of Erlangen, Fürth and Nuremberg participated in a development workshop on “Education reporting: early childhood education”. In Bayreuth, the transfer agency organised a workshop to promote MINT subjects – mathematics, information technology, natural sciences and technology.
Bavaria-wide support from the vhb
It is not only the transfer agencies who foster Bavaria's educational landscape. Further support is offered by the Virtuelle Hochschule Bayern (vhb) (Virtual University of Bavaria), which receives funding of EUR 1.3 million from the European Social Fund (ESF) and the state. The vhb is an association of all universities and universities of applied sciences in Bavaria and promotes links between business and science. Students of all faculties can benefit from online courses on various topics. The overarching goal of the vhb is to expand multimedia teaching and learning options throughout the state.
Bavaria also benefits from other EU funding programmes, such as the “Horizon 2020” framework programme, which combines the three pillars “Excellent Science” “Industrial Leadership” and “Societal Challenges”.
The seal of quality
Given that securing skilled labour, education and integration will become ever more important in future, including for municipalities, the state of Bavaria has established a wide range of measures that will allow it to maintain its leading position in the field of education. Quality assurance plays an important role. Successful education management in rural districts and cities is confirmed by the quality seal "Bildungsregion in Bayern", which has been awarded since 2012. The seal is awarded for topics and fields of action classified under five pillars, such as challenges in demographic development and the connecting educational institutions. The examination is carried out the Bavarian State Ministry for Education and Cultural Affairs.