Alternance Schemes and Dual Education: Models, Criticalities and Opportunities


Guest Editors


• Ulf-Daniel Ehlers (DHBW and Baden-Wurttemberg Cooperative State University)
• Carlo Giovannella (University of Roma Tor Vergata)
• Stefania Manca (Institute of Educational Technology, National Research Council of Italy)
• Alke Martens (Universität Rostock)



Important dates


• Deadline: July 10, 2018 -> August 27, 2018
• Notification to the authors: October 10, 2018
• Camera ready paper: October 25, 2018
• Publication of the special issue: end of November, 2018





Dual studies, Professional Education and work-based learning are forms of learning that offer a particularly intense integration with the world of work in all its aspects, including teaching, learning, research and governance and at all levels of the overarching Qualifications Framework of the European Education Area. Such forms of education and learning are central to the strategy of European countries as it particularly enhances employability. However, work-based and work-oriented learning is implemented differently from country to country [1]. Well known is the dual educational system adopted in Germany and Austria, that combines well regulated apprenticeships in a company with education at a vocational school, and now emerging in the higher education sector as well. Other European countries have adopted “lighter” alternance schemes that are however progressively assuming a massive character, like in Italy.  Benefits and obstacles of work-oriented and work-based learning have been well documented by the European Training Foundation [2]. Possible benefits span from skills and competence progressing to the development of a professional identity, to greater employment opportunities and to productivity gains. On the other hand, beside benefits relevant challenges have also to be faced: a) the development of an efficient placement that requires prioritization of sectors and qualifications; b) the identification of engaging opportunities; c) an adequate quality of pre-training that may not be easy to guarantee when funds are limited; d) the involvement of micro and small enterprises that may not see a sufficient pay back to get engaged in alternance schemes.

This special issue is intended to stimulate the submission of contributions reporting on best practices and lessons learnt in learning oriented and integrated to work, in order to help players and stakeholders involved to minimize problems and maximize benefits.


1] Chatzichristou S., Ulicna D., Murphy I., Curth A. (2014) Dual Education: A Bridge over Troubled Water, EU DG for Internal Polices - Culture and Education,

[2] European Training Foundation (ETF) (2013), Work-based learning: Benefits and obstacles a literature review for policy makers and social partners in ETF partner countries,$file/Work-based%20learning_Literature%20review.pdf




Topics of Interest


We invite contributions on topics including but not limited to:

• critical analysis of work-oriented work-based learning context and processes
• models for work-oriented and work-based learning
• best practices of work-oriented and work-based learning
• quality, monitoring and evaluation of work-oriented and work-based learning
• technology enhanced work-oriented and work-based learning
• teacher education for work-oriented and work-based learning
• bridging secondary and tertiary work-oriented and work-based education
• transnational common space for work-oriented and work-based learning



Submission procedure 


All submissions must be original and may not be under review by another publication.

The manuscripts should be submitted anonymized either in .doc or in .rtf format. 
All papers will be blindly peer-reviewed by at least two reviewers. Perspective participants are invited to submit a 8-20 pages paper (including authors' information, abstract, all tables, figures, references, etc.). 
The paper should be written according to the IxD&A authors' guidelines .

Submission page -> link
(when submitting the paper please choose Domain Subjects under: 'IxD&A special issue on: ‘Alternance Schemes and Dual Education: Models, Criticalities and Opportunities')

For scientific advices and for any query please contact the guest-editor:


• ulf-daniel [dot] ehlers [at] dhbw-karlsruhe [dot] de
• mifav [at] roma2 [dot] infn [dot] it (Carlo Giovannella)
• manca [at] itd [dot] cnr [dot] it
• alke [dot] martens [at] uni-rostock [dot] de


marking the subject as: 'IxD&A special issue on: Alternance Schemes and Dual Education: Models, Criticalities and Opportunities'.