In Germany there are numerous opportunities for adults to receive training and further education. You can receive training in businesses, technical colleges, colleges of higher education and universities.
Those who wish to study in Germany must fulfil both the admission requirements for the universities and the individual study courses. You can find out about the admission requirements, the recognition of school qualifications and the language knowledge required for admission, etc., from the German Academic Exchange Service ("Deutscher Akademischer Austauschdienst") at www.daad.de, the Application Services for International Students ("Arbeits- und Zulassungsstelle für internationale Studienbewerbungen", "Assist e.V.") at www.uni-assist.deand the Goethe Institute at www.goethe.de.
Adult education centres ("Volkshochschulen") (www.vhs.de) offer a wide range of courses providing general, cultural and vocational education. They are community education centres and are open to everybody.
There are private institutes and commercial educational establishments that can help should you wish to retake your school final exams, become professionally qualified or retrain for another profession. Business and church establishments are also very active in adult education. There is also the possibility of taking part in evening or distance learning courses that provide professional training. Distance learning can be done anywhere, any time. These incorporate the classic apprenticeship certificates ("Lehrbriefe") and increasingly new forms of "e-learning" to accompany the private study.
In almost all federal states, employees are entitled to paid educational leave, i.e. they are released from work for the purposes of continuing education. The only states that do not have laws allowing this are Baden-Württemberg, Bavaria, Saxony and Thuringia. The level of entitlement and the duration of the paid leave for the purposes of receiving political, professional or cultural further education differ from state to state. You can obtain further information from your works or staff council, the trade unions, or at: www.bildungsurlaub.de.