As kindergartens become more and more professional, expectations are growing in terms of training, the education of children and supervision –kindergartens are increasingly becoming a place of education. Young graduates but also established teachers are looking for training options to stay in touch with vocational developments, seek improvements and even take on management roles. The Akademie für öffentliche Verwaltung und Recht, which is a Steinbeis Transfer Institute at Steinbeis University Berlin, is now offering this target group a part-time bachelor’s degree with a focus on training, child education, integration and learning therapy for children and adolescents.
The bachelor’s degree lasts 36 months and was developed with the Brandenburg state ministry of youth, education and sports as well as higher education institutions (HEIs) that provide teacher training together. Students with a previous HEI qualification can shorten the degree by one year. Registration does not require a German “Abitur” (school-leaving certificate).
The aim of the degree is not to improve standards at educational establishments, but instead to improve recognition for the profession in society as a whole. Professor Dr. Bärbel Held, academic director at the Akademie für öffentliche Verwaltung und Recht believes: “These bachelor degrees for kindergarten teachers finally lend the appropriate importance to this vocational group – on par with school teachers and social education workers.” Academic staff training should help students to act more conscientiously – to think about their actions and base them on well-founded principles. Teachers and students enrolled in the program engage in lively conversation about the topics. The bachelor degree also opens the door to other vocational options.
The degree program provides students with a sound understanding of specialist topics, culminating in a Bachelor of Arts with further options in Public Education. An important part of the degree is the student project which is based on actual practice and draws on the latest academic insights. This provides tangible benefit to students and their employers. As only two to three days’ attendance are required for the course per month, the degree is sufficiently flexible to minimize absence from the workplace. The third year of the degree starts in the spring of 2015 and registration has already started.
Around 40 students and alumni enjoyed an evening with a difference at the Steinbeis School of International Business and Entrepreneurship (SIBE) at Steinbeis University Berlin. It was all part of the 11th SIBE Campfire Talk, this time featuring Dr. Christine Hohmann-Dennhardt, who has been the member of the Daimler board of management for integrity and legal affairs since 2011.
During the course of the evening, Hohmann-Dennhardt talked about changes in requirements that resulted in her move from the Federal Constitutional Court to the Daimler board, providing insights into the work carried out by her department. She described her biggest challenge as first gaining acceptance for her role and the work of the new appointed board function. This was successful, not least thanks to many conversations with people who explained their situation at all levels of the organization. The work of the integrity and legal affairs department is now shaped by a culture of general dialogue. Dialogue teams from around the world helped with the development of company compliance. Workers from all corners of the globe are also involved in discussion on other topics to involve as many people as possible in the change of company values.
When asked if integrity and entrepreneurial responsibility should be part of a business school’s curriculum Hohmann-Dennhardt gave a clear response: “Yes, but.” She believes a business school like SIBE, which aims to foster entrepreneurial commitment, should cover this area, but that integrity does not need a separate teaching module: “I learn this and that, and then I have to do integrity. ... No! It has to be a starting point,” says Hohmann-Dennhardt. And this was the big message of her talk. Entrepreneurial responsibility, integrity and a values-based approach to management are not topics that are “maybe also” dealt with on a good day, and let go of on a bad day – instead, it’s a fundamental entrepreneurial attitude that should be a guiding principle for all business decisions and actions.
To prepare themselves for international business, master’s students at the School of Management and Technology, an institute at Steinbeis University Berlin, have had an eventful time in far-flung Japan. The main reason for the trip abroad was to work on real-life business projects for medium-sized Japanese enterprises.
Working in close collaboration with Steinbeis Japan, TAMA (Technology Advanced Metropolitan Area Association) and the School of Management and Technology, Japanese SMEs are receiving support with targeted transfer projects as part of the “project competence degree” concept. The main focus of the projects is internationalization at the Japanese companies and their independence as SMEs. Because of the strong emphasis placed on practical application during the project competence degree – with the aim of facilitating measurable transfer of theory into practice – the TAMA has already been collaborating successfully with the School of Management and Technology for a number of years.
As part of this collaboration, master’s students at the School of Management and Technology were once again asked to demonstrate their ability in a real business setting, this time for four companies: Cosmotec, Kyosai Technos, Onizuka Glass and Metrol. Each of the junior consultants were given a business-related task to complete.
Business in Japan presents particular challenges in such situations. Apart from the actual task at hand, the students had to take intercultural aspects into account as well as social issues.
Before flying off, the 64 students were divided into 8 consultant teams and allocated to one of the four companies. The students were also given support by 24 students and “post-docs” at the Japanese partner university, Tokyo University of Agriculture and Technology (TUAT). Each team was given a summary of the company brief while still in Germany, outlining the most important aspects of the task.
The junior consultants contacted the foreign companies to clarify initial questions and gather enough information to start working on the task. Once in Japan, they then visited the partner companies and engaged in detailed conversation with managers and workers at the companies, before agreeing the final consulting brief they would be working on. The students then worked on this brief in Japan with the support of Japanese co-students.
Probably the most nerve-racking part was the final presentation of the results to the management representatives. The students had to outline their ideas and solutions and discuss them with the Japanese company. The results now provide the companies with clear recommendations for what to do next, either alone or with the support of Steinbeis. Apart from the experience of working on a project for a foreign company, the students gained an insight into the Japanese business culture, their values and their traditions – excellent training on intercultural issues.
Against a backdrop of demographic change and the ever-accelerating nature of business processes, there is an increasing need for occupational health mechanisms to safeguard the health and productivity of the workforce. Occupational health and safety (OHS) now plays an important role for companies and organizations striving to improve long-term profitability and competitiveness. The Steinbeis Business Academy, which is part of Steinbeis University Berlin, has now developed a certification course for managers and other workers involved in OHS to qualify as an Occupational Health and Safety Manager.
The course is an instrument of continuing professional development with a strong focus on business practice. Spanning 5 modules of 3-day classroom-based training, the course outlines the fundamentals of OHS, including legal aspects, health drives, trends and the key success factors of OHS. Students also use exercises and case studies to receive training on methods and tools, such as moderation, presentation techniques and QA instruments.
The course gives students a chance to plan and use the content covered in the course modules on real-life projects within a company. They also learn how to manage OHs professionally, by developing skills relating to managing meetings, dealing with conflicts and qualities of leadership.
An alarm bell rings out in intensive care. The nurses on duty recognize it as a signal that there’s a lack of oxygen and work out that the hospital’s central oxygen supply system has switched off. To prevent injury to critically ill patients, the whole team needs to act quickly in a coordinated and professional manner. Thankfully, it’s rare for such dire circumstances to be encountered in everyday practice, but when things do go seriously wrong, lives depend on the competent reaction of the team treating and caring for patients. It is rare to find an opportunity during the day-to-day running of a hospital to practice what to do in an emergency. In June of 2014, Public Health and Healthcare NRW, a Steinbeis Transfer Institute at Steinbeis University Berlin, opened a simulation center in Essen to practice such emergency situations.
A central aspect of training is how to support teams dealing with a critical situation and how individuals should react. To aid this, the simulation center has a comprehensive camera system to help review the actions of each individual and the entire team once the simulation has finished. The idea of the simulation center is to work through different scenarios using patient simulators. In addition to an emergency admission room with a patient shock cubicle, an anesthesia preparation room and a surgery unit, there is a fully equipped intensive care ward, a recovery zone and a non-clinical intensive care unit. All areas are fitted with the very latest medical equipment and there is an external facility at the Steinbeis Transfer Institute to simulate emergency service calls. These can also be recorded and analyzed afterwards.
Core elements of all of the exercises include teamwork development, care management and managing the interface and interactions between people of various health care vocational groups involved in typical scenarios that might arise. To do justice to the different vocational groups, the institute is collaborating with different organizations, such as the State School of the North Rhine State Association in North-Rhine Westphalia (Red Cross), hospitals, health care and nursing schools, organizers of elderly patient care seminars and physiotherapy schools. The opening of the simulation center marks another milestone in the development of Steinbeis University’s involvement in the Kupferdreh district of Essen. The site stands directly next to Lake Baldeney and is developing into a science park with the support of the Steinbeis Transfer Institute of Public Health and Healthcare NRW.
Blood tests have become a necessary routine for almost all patients staying in a hospital. To prepare blood samples for testing, more blood is needed than is actually required to carry out the analysis. Patients spending days, if not weeks on a heart-lung machine are particularly likely to lose significant volumes of blood when samples are taken. To work out if this could be avoided, SHB graduate Rene Weimer successfully examined cardiac systems at the University Clinic of Gießen (UKGM) as part of a degree paper.
Weimer completed his training as a cardiovascular perfusionist at the Academy for Perfusion at the Germany Heart Institute Berlin (DHZB). While working as a perfusionist at the UKGM, he completed a B.Sc. in Cardiovascular Perfusion, a “project competence degree” offered by Steinbeis University Berlin. He spent his time on the UKGM ward to carry out his scientific investigation. By combining semipermeable filter membranes used in dialysis systems with miniaturized catheter technology, blood sampling on heart-lung machines can be reduced significantly. Just a few drops of blood are needed for subsequent testing.
With the support of his scientific supervisor and head of the Giessen cardiotechnology department, Johannes Gehron, Weimer managed to get his work published in the scientific magazine Kardiotechnik, for which he received a Terumo Kardiotechnik scholarship prize. This prize is awarded once a year for scientists’ first papers and publications in the field of cardiotechnology and extracorporeal circulation.
The University Clinic of Giessen is currently sponsoring several students at Steinbeis University Berlin with the scientific investigations at the UKGM.