The newly designed student survey paints a comprehensive picture of the study and life situation of the approximately 2.9 million students in Germany. It is the largest current student survey in Germany; it provides data on students' situation in (digital) education and social life, on the social and financial conditions of all students, but also on topics such as political orientations, freedom of speech, career goals and discrimination. The student survey is also shaped by the impact of the Corona pandemic. The survey provides important empirical findings for higher education policy at the federal and state levels. Project partners, the press, the media and the public are also fully informed. The thematic blocks include social and economic framework conditions, studies and study conditions, attitudes and participation as well as educational paths and career paths.
... is the most comprehensive student survey in Germany to date and covers a wide range of topics related to studying.
... asks the students about their political orientations, career goals or possible experiences of discrimination.
... provides an important data-basis for decision-making and politics in Germany, but also for higher education institutions and student services organisations.
... is a central component of monitoring education in Germany; the data supplement official statistics with information that no other source can provide.
... contains a wide range of information on the higher education landscape, the study situation and the challenges in times of educational expansion, digitalisation and the Corona pandemic.
... provides science, but also higher education institutions and student services organisations with an empirical basis for consulting and research purposes.
... also takes into account small groups of students who fall through the cracks of usual surveys, for example students with children or students with health impairments, students in dual or part-time study programmes, students without a traditional entrance qualification, or refugee students.
... selects the participants randomly in order to make representative statements and guarantees students complete anonymity.
Which previous surveys are integrated into the new student survey?
- The Social Survey of the German National Association Student Affairs and the German Centre for Higher Education Research and Science Studies on the economic and social situation of students
- The Student Survey - Study Situation and Student Orientations of the Research Group on Higher Education of the University of Constance
- The study "beeinträchtigt studieren" (Studying with Impairments) investigates the situation of students with study-related disabilities.
- The European study series EUROSTUDENT on the situation of students in numerous European countries
What exactly is being asked?
The student survey in Germany provides data on the situation in (digital) education, study satisfaction, difficulties in studying and everyday life, study financing, the social profile of students (age, gender, migration background, social background), the course of education and studies, mobility abroad, professional, social and political attitudes, housing, use of dining halls and cafeterias, but also on the situation of students with health impairments or students with children.
How does the student survey actually work?
The participating higher education institutions randomly invite every third of their students to participate in the student survey. With almost 2.9 million students enrolled at German universities, that is almost one million respondents.
The survey itself takes place online and is conducted by the scientific staff of the German Centre for Higher Education Research and Science Studies (DZHW) and the Research Group on Higher Education at the University of Constance. The survey is carried out anonymously and data protection conditions are strictly adhered to.
What happens to the data? / How is data protection guaranteed?
Your anonymity is guaranteed because
- the invitation to the survey and the performance of the survey are carried out separately. You will recieve an invitation to participate by your higher education institution, but the survey and analysis is carried out by the staff of the German Centre for Higher Education Research and Science Studies (DZHW) and the Research Group on Higher Education (AG Hochschulforschung). It is not possible to link your names with the survey data.
- higher education institutions will not know what you have answered individually
- evaluation of the data is carried out in strict compliance with data protection regulations and the results are published in such a way that no conclusions can be drawn about individuals.
The quality assurance standards for online research adopted in 2001 apply. These were developed specifically for market and social research by the Working Group of Sicial Science Institutes (Arbeitsgemeinschaft Sozialwissenschaftlicher Institute - ASI), the German Society for Online Research (D.G.O.F.), the Professional Association of German Market and Social Researchers (BVM) and the Working Group of German Market and Social Research Institutes (ADM). In addition to the EU General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), the ethical standars for quality assurance in online Research that were jointly developed by ASI are also the basis of our activity.
What is the data used for?
The survey data is analysed anonymously by researchers from the DZHW, the Research Group on Higher Education at the University of Constance and the scientific community. Of course, all applicable data protection regulations are strictly adhered to, so that no conclusions can be drawn about individual response behaviour. In addition to the EU General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), the ethical standards for quality assurance in online research that are jointly developed by the Working Group of Social Science Institutes (Arbeitsgemeinschaft Sozialwissenschaftlicher Institute - ASI) are also the basis for our activities.
Who is involved?
The consolidation and integration of the various studies on the "Student Survey in Germany" is carried out by the German Centre for Higher Education Research and Science Studies (DZHW) in cooperation with the University of Constance's Higher Education Research Group and the National Association for Student Affairs (DSW) and is funded by the Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF).
The German Centre for Higher Education Research and Science Studies (DZHW) is a research institute based in Hanover and funded by the German federal and state governments. As an international centre of excellence for higher education and science research, the DZHW conducts data collection and analyses, produces research-based services for higher education and science policy, and makes its and external data sets available to the scientific community via a research data centre. In the field of student research, the DZHW has been conducting various surveys since 1976 and can draw on many years of expertise with regard to both methodological and content-related issues related to studying.
From 1982 to 2016,the University of Constance's Higher Education Research Group conducted the Student Survey, a regular nationwide survey funded by the BMBF at universities and universities of applied sciences on the topics of study situation and student orientations. On the one hand, the results provide a basis for higher education policy, the quality management of the participating universities and for public discussion, and on the other hand for scientific work in higher education research. Within the study "The Student Survey in Germany", the working group is responsible for surveying three topics: social and study-related fairness attitudes, political orientations of students, and transitions to Bachelor's and Master's and doctoral studies.
The German National Association for Student Affair (Deutsches Studentenwerk - DSW) is the association of 57 student and student services organisations in Germany, which support students on behalf of the state, among other things with refectories, halls of residence, the implementation of the BAföG, with psychological counselling and social counselling, childcare as well as offers for foreign students or students with disabilities. The German Student Union first developed and conducted a social survey on the economic and social situation of students in 1951; thereafter, the social survey was established as a regular student survey. For more than 70 years, the social surveys of the German Student Union have drawn a realistic picture of the social and economic situation of students; it is considered one of the most important and largest educational studies in Germany.
"The student survey in Germany is valuable for everyone involved: higher education institutions, students, research, education policy makers and student service organisations – the Studierendenwerke."
Federal Minister of Education and Research
"The findings obtained in this student survey provide an essential basis for science-based education reporting."
Prof. Dr. Kai Maaz
Director at the DIPF | Leibniz Institute for Research and Information in Education
"As a former university president, I cordially invite all higher education institutions in Germany to participate in the student survey. If nothing else, the results provide a basis for the development of your own institution."
Prof. Dr. Rolf-Dieter Postlep
President of the German National Association for Student Affairs (DSW), former President of the University of Kassel
"One for all" is not just a motto, but a programme: data from the integrated student survey serves all stakeholders, students, higher education institutions, researchers and higher education policy."
Prof. Dr. Monika Jungbauer-Gans
Scientific Director DZHW
"One for all: the new, integrated student survey lives up to its claim because it shows politicians, the public, and higher education institutions in an empirically valid way how students are doing in Germany and how they think."
Achim Meyer auf der Heyde
Secretary General of the German National Association for Student Affairs (DSW)
"All for one and one for all. The survey will give students a voice - we should all stand together for that."
Prof. Dr. Jutta Allmendinger
President of the Berlin Social Science Center (WZB)
"Your voice will be heard - you can influence the study conditions in Germany. If you should take part in only one survey, then take part in this one!"
is a student at the University of Applied Sciences in Weihenstephan-Triesdorf, a member of the student council there and on the board of the student service organisations in Erlangen-Nuremberg and DSW
"I cordially invite higher education institutions to get involved in this important student survey; the data obtained is also of great value to the institutions themselves."
Prof. Dr. Peter-André Alt
President of the German Rectors' Conference (HRK)
"Take the time for this important, nationwide student survey if you are invited. You will help to communicate the situation of students to politicians and the public."
is a student of Industrial Engineering at RWTH Aachen University, Vice-Chairman of the Administrative Board of the student service organisation (STW) in Aachen, Vice-Chairman of the Board of Directors of the German National Association for Student Affairs