Largest student survey in Germany started

One million students invited to take part in online survey

Berlin/Hannover/Konstanz, 5 May 2021. The largest student survey ever conducted in Germany started on 4 May 2021: A total of around one million students randomly selected by their universities have been invited to take part in the online study. The aim is to gain a comprehensive idea of the social and economic situation of students and their everyday study life. A high level of survey participation means that even small groups of students can be reflected in a representative way. These include, for example, students with children or students with health impairments, students in part-time study programs, students without a school entrance qualification, and international students. The survey is funded by the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF) and combines previously separate surveys.

Commenting on the start of the online survey, Federal Education Minister Anja Karliczek said: "Good education policy needs a solid database. The student survey in Germany takes place every four years. I sincerely ask all students who have been invited to take part in the survey to do so! We want to know how you are coping with your studies."

Prof. Dr. Monika Jungbauer-Gans, scientific director of the DZHW: "By combining several surveys into one, we are easing the burden on universities. We provide universities with important information on the situation of students in Germany."

Prof. Dr. Thomas Hinz from the University of Konstanz emphasizes the benefits of the new survey for science: "The new survey provides data in a range that offers completely new opportunities for higher education research. We will get results in a great depth of field."

Prof. Dr. Rolf-Dieter Postlep, the president of Deutsches Studentenwerk (DSW), appeals to those students who receive the invitation to take the survey: "Invest the 30 to 35 minutes to fill out the online study. You are making an active contribution to improve study conditions and the social framework of studying. Get involved - for yourself, and for your fellow students."


"One for all: the student survey in Germany" provides a comprehensive and differentiated idea of the situation of students in Germany. The newly designed student survey brings together several student surveys that have been established over decades into a single study - in other words, "one for all."

It integrates

  • the previous "Social Survey" of Deutsches Studentenwerk and Deutsches Zentrum für Hochschul- und Wissenschaftsforschung (since 1951),
  • the "Student Survey" previously conducted by the AG Hochschulforschung of the University of Konstanz (since 1982)
  • as well as the survey "beeinträchtigt studieren" (best) (since 2012)
  • via a separate survey, data is also collected for the European reporting of the EUROSTUDENT project (since 1997), which makes the situation of students in Germany comparable with other countries.

The student survey summarized:

  • It is the most important and largest student survey in Germany,
  • it provides an important basis for decision-making and data for policy-makers in Germany, including universities and Studierendenwerke,
  • it is a central component of education monitoring in Germany; the data supplement official statistics with information that no other source can provide,
  • it provides science, as well as universities and Studierendenwerke, with an empirical basis for consulting and research purposes,
  • it also takes into account small groups of students who do not fit into the picture of conventional surveys, for example, students with children or students with health impairments, students in dual or part-time study programs, students without a school entrance qualification, international and non-traditional students,
  • it is sensitive to issues of diversity, social inequality, and gender identity.

The focus is on the socioeconomic and psychosocial situation of the respondents as well as their study and living conditions and their educational careers to date. As the Corona pandemic continues to determine teaching and study at German universities, students are also surveyed about the challenges of digital teaching. To this end, the BMBF-funded research network had already conducted a survey last summer that allowes a look into student life during the Corona pandemic.

One third of the students will be randomly invited by their own university via email to participate in the online survey. The survey phase starts today and lasts until the end of August 2021. After an intensive phase of data processing, first results are expected in 2022.

Survey website:

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