German Student Social Survey

Start of the project: 01-Jan-1981 - End of the project: 31-Dec-2018

The German Student Social Survey is a long-term study of the economic and social situation of students in Germany. It is unique throughout the world and has been carried out since 1951, usually at three-yearly intervals.

The German Centre for Higher Education Research and Science Studies (DZHW) and its predecessor institution HIS have carried out the Social Survey since 1982, in collaboration with the German National Association for Student Affairs (DSW) and with funding from the Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF). Each time, the survey approaches a representative cross-section of students registered at a higher education institution in Germany. The Social Survey also includes international students who come to Germany for all or part of their studies.

Traditionally, the Social Survey includes questions on the following topics:

  • Study-related aspects - subject, degree, number of semesters, progress of studies
  • Social and demographic features - age, gender, marital status, parenthood, social background, migrant background
  • Student funding and living costs
  • Amount of time spent on studying and gainful employment
  • Housing type, housing satisfaction
  • Study-related periods abroad

The field phase of the 21st German Student Social Survey was carried out during the summer semester 2016 and for the first time took the form of an online survey. Further information (e. g. projects history, questionnaires, and reports) is available on the projects website.

Lead Researcher

Elke Middendorff
Dr. Elke Middendorff Lead Researcher +49 511 450670-432

Press contact

Daniel Matthes
Daniel Matthes +49 511 450670-532
To press section

Project website

Funded by

Bundeministerium für Bildung und Forschung

In cooperation with

Deutsches Studentenwerk