The 2012 Stuttgart Competence Day

“Employability” means being able and willing to prepare oneself for the world of tomorrow. And against a background of increasingly dynamic economies, it is becoming central to both entrepreneurial and personal success. The Fifth Annual Stuttgart Competence Day, which took place on November 29, 2012, turned the spotlight on this success factor. Around 650 delegates accepted the Steinbeis invitation to discuss this topic and the approaches taken by businesses and universities toward employability. They also considered the impact of educational reform under the Bologna process.

In his introductory speech, Prof. Dr. Werner Faix (from the School of International Business and Entrepreneurship (SIBE) at Steinbeis University Berlin) examined the underlying meaning of employability and the contribution universities can make to ensure students not only develop the right skills but also have the courage to tackle the employment market in its current state, which is highly dynamic and complex, and marked by uncertainty.

Christiane Konegen-Grenier (from the Cologne Institute for Economic Research) discussed employability from the perspective of companies and examined the skills sets they expect of their workers. In his presentation, Prof. Dr. Urs Baldegger (University of Liechtenstein) introduced the master degree in entrepreneurship offered by the University of Liechtenstein and looked more closely at the unique connection between actions and learning, and the mixture of methodologies derived from this which feeds into the degree.

Prof. Dr. Julian Nida-Rümelin (Ludwig Maximilian University, Munich) explored the education goals of universities in his speech, and Dr. Peter Wex made a critical assessment of skills at universities. Drawing on the example of the degree at the College of Jewish Studies in Heidelberg, Prof. Dr. Johannes Heil (from the college in Heidelberg) presented the possibilities of personal and skills development.

In a joint presentation, Prof. Dr. Tina Klein (University of California) and Annette Horne (SIBE) showed the results of the SIBE CEO Schumpeter Study carried out in the United States and Germany. Prof. Dr. Ulrich Rüdiger (University of Constance) discussed how skills, personality and employability can be developed as part of the technical and natural sciences degrees at universities, examining the pros and cons of the newly recategorized degrees as part of the Bologna process.

Prof. Dr. Rudolf Tippelt (Ludwig Maximilian University, Munich) presented the results of education research on “The Status of Education in Tertiary Education.” In his speech, he took a closer look at issues such as the starting point for university education, university funding, degree standards, degree qualifications, where graduates end up, the internationalization of universities and continuing professional development in the sciences.

Silke Keim (SAPHIR Kompetenz GmbH), Stefanie Kisgen (Steinbeis Transfer Institute of International Management, SHB) and Prof. Dr. John Erpenbeck (SIBE) ended the proceedings with a presentation on the scope of skills development as part of a Project Skills Degree, drawing on the example of the management degree programs offered by the School of International Business and Entrepreneurship at the SHB.

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