Student Life Cycle

Start of the project: 01-Oct-2016

The Student Life Cycle includes the transition to higher education, educational careers, the transition to and establishment of graduate employment, and alternative work modes (such as family work) in the approx. nine to ten years after graduation. In its planning phase, the Student Life Cycle project (SLC) initiates a development that will reform the survey programme at the DZHW. The project has two main objectives:

Integrating the DZHW panel studies and the long-term observation of individuals provides several improvements for the analysis of the student life cycle. Educational careers can be examined more extensively in their chronological and sequential structure as well as in their embeddedness in the life course. The interactions of educational careers with other areas of life, also taking socio-demographic characteristics into account, offer analyses that go far beyond the possibilities of official statistics. In addition, determinants of switching behaviour between tertiary education and alternative activities as well as their effects on employment opportunities and non-monetary returns on education can be taken into account. Official statistics will provide a description of educational careers, success rates and changing behaviour, but cannot include explanations on the individual level (skills, motivation, attitudes, resources, perception of costs, etc.) or structural level (such as the course of studies, conditions at the university, alternative opportunities, etc.).

The development of a long-term panel that integrates the existing panel surveys also facilitates a stronger research orientation at the DZHW. In order to meet the increasing demands of quantitative empirical research for the collection and processing of empirical data, it is necessary to launch projects focusing on longer periods of investigation that also include groups that have so far only rarely been considered (such as persons without university education). In addition, long-term panel data provide a better basis for answering causal-analytical questions in ways not possible, or only conditionally possible, with the data material currently available for Germany.

Against this background, the SLC project has two main goals: on the one hand, the long-standing and proven surveys are to be continued in order to gather data for education monitoring and to prevent the loss of valuable time series. On the other hand, harmonizing and integrating the panel studies will enable the identification of new analytical potential by observing long time periods with a uniform modularized panel survey. In this way, new comparative groups are implicitly made available (e.g. for a comparison of graduates with persons without a university degree).

More specifically, the planned integrated design has the following objectives:

  1. to allow descriptive statements on essential characteristics of students and graduates at specific points in the education and employment process (monitoring),
  2. to analyse individual educational processes over longer periods of time and with higher observational density than previously possible,
  3. to answer causal-analytical questions on the causes and effects of different factors in the life course (duration and interruption of study, income development, adequate employment, employment behaviour, job satisfaction, etc.)
  4. Finally, analyses of the long-term panel are also to be connected to comparative research in the international research community. It is therefore planned that the DZHW Graduate Panel sample will be part of the EUROGRADUATE consortium. Under the EUROGRADUATE Feasibility Study, , the DZHW managed the consortium and will continue to work in the management team during an intended implementation phase of a European Graduates Study. The aim is to strengthen the perception of German higher education research and science studies in the (international) scientific community.

In addition to monitoring, this research design provides the possibility of comprehensive and detailed causal and process analyses of study behaviour and study success; of analysing the influence of scope conditions and institutions on beginning a university study programme, on study success, and on further academic qualification; and of analysing determinants of graduate employment, returns on education, and the subsequent professional and academic careers in international comparison. To conclude, an integrated design with long-term observational data and international connectivity both increases the potential for sound scientific analyses and improves the data base for evidence-based policy advice.

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Publications

Das Student Life Cycle Panel – Datenbasis für Forschung und Hochschulpolitik.

Jungbauer-Gans, M., Carstensen, J. (2019).
Das Student Life Cycle Panel – Datenbasis für Forschung und Hochschulpolitik. (DZHW Brief 1|2019). Hannover: DZHW.
Presentations

The Effects of Response Burden when Collecting Life-History Data in a Self-Administered Mixed-Device Survey.

Cordua, F., Carstensen, J., & Lang, S. (2019, Juli).
The Effects of Response Burden when Collecting Life-History Data in a Self-Administered Mixed-Device Survey. Poster auf der 8th Conference of the European Survey Research Association (ESRA), Universität Zagreb, Kroatien.

Life History Calendar: Are there Positive Effects in a Self-Administered Mixed-Device Survey, too?

Carstensen, J., Lang, S., & Cordua, F. (2019, Juli).
Life History Calendar: Are there Positive Effects in a Self-Administered Mixed-Device Survey, too? Poster auf der 8th Conference of the European Survey Research Association (ESRA), Universität Zagreb, Kroatien.

The "Student Life Cycle" - A New Panel Study for the Research in Higher Education.

Jungbauer-Gans, M., Carstensen, J., Muehleck, K., & Lang, S. (2017, September).
The "Student Life Cycle" - A New Panel Study for the Research in Higher Education. Posterpräsentation auf dem 25th Annual Workshop of the European Research Network on Transitions in Youth (TIY), Brüssel, Belgien.

Challenges in Implementing a New Panel Study for the Research in Higher Education - The Case of the "Student Life Cycle".

Jungbauer-Gans, M., Carstensen, J., & Lang, S. (2017, Juli).
Challenges in Implementing a New Panel Study for the Research in Higher Education - The Case of the "Student Life Cycle". Vortrag auf der 7th Conference of the European Survey Research Association; Lissabon; Portugal.

The "Student Life Cycle" - A New Panel Study for the Research in Higher Education.

Jungbauer-Gans, M., Carstensen, J., & Lang, S. (2017, Juli).
The "Student Life Cycle" - A New Panel Study for the Research in Higher Education. Posterpräsentation auf der 7th Conference of the European Survey Research Association; Lissabon; Portugal.

Outcomes von Bildung: Nicht-monetäre Bildungserträge.

Grüttner, M. (2017, März).
Outcomes von Bildung: Nicht-monetäre Bildungserträge. Vortrag auf dem 2. Workshop 'Indikatoren der Hochschulbildung' der Student Life Cycle (SLC) Planungsstudie in Hannover.

Der Student Life Cycle.

Carstensen, J. (2017, Februar).
Der Student Life Cycle. Vortrag auf dem 11. Workshop der Panelsurveys in Deutschland; Nürnberg.

Lead Researcher

Monika Jungbauer-Gans
Prof. Dr. Monika Jungbauer-Gans Lead Researcher +49 511 450670-910
Johann Carstensen
Dr. Johann Carstensen Deputy Lead Researcher +49 511 450670-914

Researchers

Sebastian Lang Heiko Quast

Press contact

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

Funded by

Bundeministerium für Bildung und Forschung