one for all

The student survey in Germany

"The Student Survey in Germany" is the most comprehensive survey of all students in Germany to date. It integrates several surveys previously conducted separately under one roof and was conducted in the summer semester of 2021.

Students from more than 250 universities took part in the survey. The study was scientifically developed by the German Center for Higher Education and Science Research (DZHW, Verbundleitung) and the AG Hochschulforschung at the University of Konstanz. The German Student Union is a practice partner in the project network.

At the DZHW and the University of Konstanz, a team of researchers is now processing the data obtained. This is a demanding undertaking that will take several months. Alone 320,000 open data on apprenticeship occupations, parental occupations and student employment have to be processed and assigned to about 1,300 possible occupational categories.

In addition, the fields of study for almost 240,000 individual data items must be classified and then transferred to the field of study classification system of the Federal Statistical Office. In addition, missing values have to be defined, plausibility checks carried out and the data weighted at the end to enable representative statements to be made. There are many other examples of processing steps that will have to be taken in the coming months. All of this is important in order to provide the best possible picture of the situation of students in Germany - based on high-quality data.

This is what the student survey is about

One survey - many topics


Social and economic framework conditions

  • Gender, origin, and migration
  • Family and health situation
  • Employment and financial situation
  • Housing
  • and other topics

Studies and study conditions

  • Study organisation and conditions
  • Study requirements in the digital semester
  • Internationalisation and digitalisation
  • Performances and acquisition of competences
  • and other topics

Attitudes and participation

  • Career and life goals
  • Equal opportunities
  • Free speech
  • political orientations
  • social and political involvement
  • and other issues

Education and career paths

  • Previous educational biography
  • Study progression, transfers and dropout
  • Study planning and success
  • Vocational and career planning
  • and other topics

"The Student Survey in Germany" combines the following surveys or long-term studies:

The social surveys on the economic and social situation of students

The Student Survey on the Study Situation and Student Orientations

The study "beeinträchtigt studieren" (Studying with Impairments) on the situation of students with study-related impairments

The report on the situation of students in 28 European countries by EUROSTUDENT

Current project publications can be found here.

  • "The student survey in Germany is valuable for everyone involved: higher education institutions, students, research, education policy makers and student service organisations – the Studierendenwerke."

    Anja Karliczek
    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!"

    Louisa Kruczek
    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."

    Philipp Schulz
    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