gms | German Medical Science

4th International Conference of the German Society of Midwifery Science (DGHWi)

Deutsche Gesellschaft für Hebammenwissenschaft e. V.

16.02.2018, Mainz

Attitudes towards bachelor-level education among Bavarian midwives – results of a descriptive, cross-sectional survey in Bavaria

Meeting Abstract

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  • corresponding author Andrea Komlew - Catholic University of Applied Sciences Munich, Munich, Germany

German Association of Midwifery Science. 4th International Meeting of the German Association of Midwifery Science (DGHWi). Mainz, 16.-16.02.2018. Düsseldorf: German Medical Science GMS Publishing House; 2018. Doc18dghwiP16

doi: 10.3205/18dghwi22, urn:nbn:de:0183-18dghwi221

This is the English version of the article.
The German version can be found at:

Published: February 13, 2018

© 2018 Komlew.
This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License. See license information at


Background: Midwifery training in Germany faces a restructure. Midwifery training lasts three years in Germany and is positioned within Qualification Level 4 of the European Qualification Framework. For this reason, the German midwives' associations are advocating for a restructure of midwifery training and the opportunity to achieve bachelor-level qualifications. In this way, alignment and the necessary raise in the qualification level to an EQF Level 6 would also be achieved in Germany [1], [2]. The overwhelming number of university programs have been established in the northern states. In Bavaria, not even one university program exists [3]. It is currently unclear, however, how midwives who have completed a traditional training program view this development.

Aim/research question: How do midwives in Bavaria value a midwifery university qualification?

Methods: Within the framework of a cross-sectional study, midwives were surveyed regarding their interest in university study and their attitude to the study of midwifery. The questionnaire was posted to all Bavarian midwives via an E-survey. Through this convenience sample, data from 534 midwives was obtained for analysis. The free text responses regarding the respondents' opinion of a midwifery university program were analysed using a qualitative content analysis by Mayring [4].

Results: The majority were overwhelmingly positive in their opinion of university qualifications but the open question responses suggested that a university qualification could fall short in providing midwives with the proficiency and experience-based knowledge, which is currently strongly promoted in the traditional training system. Some midwives need more information about the restructure of midwifery training.

Relevance: The German midwives' associations can enlighten their members aubout the restructure of midwifery training in order to avoid division within the profession. Furthermore empirical data can be used for political decisions.

Recommendations/conclusions: For many years, the training of midwives in Germany has been located in vocational training schools. Only slowly are university level opportunities emerging for midwives. The respondents who became midwives under the current traditional training system view future opportunities for university study in a positive light. It is also clear, however, that further work on defining the competencies, study goals and practical skills is required. The desire of midwives for an uncomplicated qualification upgrade option for already practicing midwives should be taken into account in order to avoid division within the profession. In response to pressure from European Union demands, it is likely that the traditional training program will be replaced with a university course from 2020. The higher education for midwives can develop the profession of midwifery.

Ethical criteria and conflict of interests: The research/project was not submitted to an ethics committee for the following reasons: No clinical research – bachelor thesis

It was financed from own resources. There is no conflict of interest.

The PDF file of the poster submitted for the meeting is available in German as Attachment 1 [Attach. 1].


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