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Regina Flake / Lydia Malin / Paula Risius IW-Trends No. 5 26. October 2017 Factors Influencing How High School Graduates Decide Between a University Course and Vocational Training

The proportion of school students who take and pass the German Abitur exams (equivalent to British ‘A’-levels or the American high school diploma) has been increasing for many years.

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Factors Influencing How High School Graduates Decide Between a University Course and Vocational Training
Regina Flake / Lydia Malin / Paula Risius IW-Trends No. 5 26. October 2017

Factors Influencing How High School Graduates Decide Between a University Course and Vocational Training

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The proportion of school students who take and pass the German Abitur exams (equivalent to British ‘A’-levels or the American high school diploma) has been increasing for many years.

Currently, more than half of those graduating from high school each year have obtained this university entrance qualification and the annual intake of university students has doubled in the past 15 years. Of these new students, however, 29 per cent break off their studies prematurely. This shows that not every freshman or –woman has made the best choice. This raises the question as to which factors influence school leavers’ decisions to take a university degree, and how this decision process could be optimized. An analysis of the National Educational Panel Study(NEPS) shows that in addition to their interests, young people are influenced by the sources of information available and – particularly in the case of vocational education and training (VET) - the expected benefits. For example, young people of an artistic bent tend to opt for university rather than VET. Conversely, high school leavers seeking a secure and prestigious occupation are more likely to opt for vocational training. In addition, careers advice plays an important role. To counteract the current lack of information and to ensure that school leavers make an informed choice between vocational education and training and tertiary education, secondary schools and vocational counselling in senior high school should in future cater for all interests and inclinations and provide more balanced and overall more practical information about the two career paths.

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Factors Influencing How High School Graduates Decide Between a University Course and Vocational Training
Regina Flake / Lydia Malin / Paula Risius IW-Trends No. 5 26. October 2017

Regina Flake / Lydia Malin / Paula Risius: Einflussfaktoren der Bildungsentscheidung von Abiturienten für Ausbildung oder Studium

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Securing Skilled Labour by Training High School Graduates from Abroad at German Universities
Wido Geis IW-Trends 4. August 2017

Securing Skilled Labour by Training High School Graduates from Abroad at German Universities

In recent years, more and more high school graduates from other countries, have been studying at German universities. While in the winter semester 2011/2012 there were around 193,000 such students, by 2015/2016 that number had risen to 252,000.

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Studying abroad IW News 26. January 2017

A European success story

Thanks to Bologna and Erasmus: The number of German students abroad has more than tripled since the 1990s, reports the German Federal Statistical Office today. Studying abroad improves job opportunities and strengthens the interest in Europe. The Brexit, ...

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