Educational paths of school leavers with a higher education entrance qualification - Panel Study of School Leavers with a Higher Education Entrance Qualification 2018

Start of the project: 01-Feb-2017 - End of the project: 30-Sept-2020

The second survey of the DZHW’s “School Leavers with a Higher Education Entrance Qualification” panel study started in December 2018. It takes place six months after students have gained their higher education entrance qualification and follows up on the initial survey of this school leaver year group, that took place while they were still at school.

Data collection of the first survey wave, on the study and career aims of the 2018 school leaver year group, is complete. About 41,000 school leavers with an HE entrance qualification took part in the first survey, six months before they completed their schooling (December 2017). Parallel to the survey of school leavers, school heads were also surveyed for the first time on characteristics of the school context. The school heads survey focused on the make-up of the pupil population in relation to a range of features, and on the school’s provision of information and consultation.

The second wave now focuses on individual educational paths after completing school. The main topic of this survey is diversity, with particular emphasis on respondents’ migrant background. Among other topics, information is collected on:

  • The decision-making process
  • The application phase for higher education and training
  • Educational decisions already reached (e.g. training or study subject, location of HEI)
  • Medium to long-term planning for the study and training phase and professional career.

The survey is part of a series with a long tradition: surveys on the educational or career paths of school leavers with (or shortly before gaining) a higher education entrance qualification have been carried out since the 1970s. The information they generate contributes to the process of continual longitudinal observation and analysis of post-school study, training and career paths, ensuring it is backed up by data. The findings of the school leaver year group surveys have always aroused considerable interest among politicians, the academic world and the public.

Whole project

Lead Researcher

Heiko Quast
Heiko Quast Lead Researcher +49 511 450670-160
Heike Spangenberg
Dr. Heike Spangenberg Lead Researcher +49 511 450670-151
Andreas Woisch
Andreas Woisch Lead Researcher +49 511 450670-184


Anna Meine
Anna Meine +49 511 450670-115


Dennis Föste-Eggers Hanna Mentges Laura Isabel Schoger

Press contact

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

Project website

Funded by

Bundeministerium für Bildung und Forschung