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Source: Bundesverband deutscher Stiftungen

Association of German Foundations Meets at WHU Campus Düsseldorf

The Education Work Group seeks to fight back against unfortunate developments in the education system

Over the course of two days, October 19 and 20, the Education Work Group of the Association of German Foundations (BDS) held its annual conference, this year on the Düsseldorf campus at WHU – Otto Beisheim School of Management. At this year’s event, billed “The Specialist Factor – How the Manager Shortage Affects the Education System (And What Foundations Can Do About It),” 85 participants from a variety of foundations discussed how the scholastic system in Germany can be reformed and attract more qualified personnel.

“It’s been talked about for years in pedagogical practice, in education policy, and in education sciences,” said Dr. Ingmar Ahl, from the board at the Karg Foundation. Both Dr. Ahl and Dr. Dagmar Wolf (Department Head at the Robert Bosch Stiftung and Head of the BDS Education Work Group) noted, “The role that managers play in ensuring a quality education system and their importance for properly educating young people is already known. And well-trained, motivated specialists are also crucial to the work of foundations focused on education.”

“It’s something that we’re discussing up and down the whole academic chain,” said Dr. Markus Warnke, Director of the Wübben Stiftung Bildung, host of this year’s conference. “There’s a shortage of kindergarten specialists, primary school teachers, and social workers. These issues are currently the most pressing.”

Foundations are also expected to find ways of keeping academic professions attractive, improving the training that education specialists receive, determining where additional specialists can be discovered—and ensuring they are healthy and fit for a long career. And that was the focus that the task force assumed.

There was no question as to whether WHU, itself supported by a foundation, would open its doors to the event. Dr. Peter Kreutter, Managing Director of the Center for Non-Profit Management and Social Impact, represented the university during the association’s education-focused debates. “There are two things we all must understand,” he noted. “First, that educators impart their expertise. And second, that the way young people get inspired is the deciding factor.”

WHU and the Center for Non-Profit Management and Social Impact, alongside its many partners, has been dedicated to professionalizing the third sector for years. Managers who work for non-profit organizations, such as foundations, associations, or clubs, will find at WHU a chance to join a variety of continued education courses and find the training that is right for them.

Click here to view a short video about this year’s event put on by the Education Task Force of the Association of German Foundations.

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