Edition 182 - June 2016

Germany's applied universities succeed in boosting post-graduation prospects

After ending their studies, nine out of ten master graduates sign an employment contract during the first 18 months, according to the newest study of the German Centre for Higher Education and Science Studies (DZHW). The ‘’Graduate survey’’ is performed since 1989, funded by the Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF), and is supported by research inputs from the International Centre for Higher Education Research (INCHER).

Graduates coming from a university of applied sciences were found to have especially good prospects in finding permanent employment post-graduation. For their first job, every second graduate of a university of applied sciences will enter into a permanent employment contract, while university graduates also find a job quickly but more frequently first pursue temporary work arrangements or third cycle studies. Results have to be considered in a nuanced perspective- while graduates of applied universities quickly find permanent employment and tend to have higher starting salaries; university graduates catch up on these indicators in the long run. Long term employment emerges with a delay due to the pursuit of continued study and/or an intermediary phase between studies, later on achieving higher income results in comparison to their peers who graduated from an applied institution.  Due to the close knit connection between practice based learning, graduates of a applied university early on forge industry connections which positively impacts their employment prospects.  An increasing number of students are found to preference universities of applied sciences, which offer a broad spectrum of subjects, practice based training and are conveniently found in close proximity to students’ home base. 

The research which examines perceptions of graduates, from the academic examination-year 2013, probing into their study experience, their job market entry and career achievements– for the first time allows subject differentiated conclusions on the impact of the new Bachelor-Master system. With those graduates studying in the Bachelor-Master framework outperforming their peers of foregone years, moving into an employment relation swiftly post-graduation and rating their studies positively - Federal Minister of Education and Research, Johanna Wanka commends higher education institutions for “successfully transiting into the new Degrees ‘’ structure.

Considering that employment perspectives are moving to the forefront of student motivations and study choices particularly in the international context (see ACA newsletter Education Europe, June 2016 ), vocationally integrated learning, accompanied by private sector contacts, can be inferred to gain increasing relevance for a broad spectrum of students.  

BMBF – press release (only in German)
DZHW Graduate survey and report (only in German)

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