Qualified basic and continued education for adults – Volkshochschule is the largest provider in the city
Democracy needs education: Hamburger Volkshochschule was founded in 1919 under this motto, and it’s a motto that is as topical today as it was a century ago. Being able to continue learning, regardless of income or personal life situation, means being able to take part in society.
Today, with 100,000 attendees annually at over 8000 events (courses, projects and other offerings), VHS is Hamburg’s largest provider of general adult education. There is something for everyone in its eight subject areas - Languages, German as a Foreign Language, Culture and Creativity, Health and the Environment, IT and Careers, Society and Politics, Basic Education, and Multimedia and Photography.
If Hamburg is the “Gateway to the World”, so is Volkshochschule. Cultural diversity comes alive every day its more than 250 locations throughout the city. Everything at VHS encourages dialogue and interaction among attendees. Acquaintances are made among computer screens and cookware. Friendships are formed among easels and sewing machines. Multilingual communication takes place on yoga mats and in choirs.
As a public institution Hamburger Volkshochschule has an educational mandate from the Ministry of Schools and Vocational Training. This mandate includes immigrant integration, language, and orientation courses. In them, new residents of Hamburg are welcomed and learn about German language, culture and life. The “German as a Foreign Language” courses offer qualifications from A1 to C2 levels. In addition, several times monthly Hamburger Volkshochschule offers the citizenship test on behalf of the Federal Office for Migration and Refugees. As in previous years, in 2017 demand for “German as a Foreign Language” grew. With the current immigration situation being what it is, Hamburger Volkshochschule is a vital part of the educational resources of the City of Hamburg, and plays a major role in the successful integration of new arrivals.
Hamburger Volkshochschule is part of a Europe-wide network of educational institutions and organisations. Numerous projects and cooperations are offered with state, Federal or EU funding. These include
courses and qualifications for schoolchildren, students, seniors, educationally disadvantaged persons, immigrants and illiterate persons.
The teaching methods overcome geographical and social boundaries. eLearning programmes and webinars network knowledge and make it accessible from anywhere. The future is here, and VHS is helping shape it.