More digital, international, but too slow to improve

Six fields of action and their development in detail

The overall index developed for the Higher Education Report achieved only 45 points in the final year and thus not even half of the 100 points to be achieved for the target year 2020. The pandemic had a negative impact on all six fields of action and set back the positive development of previous years.

With 68 points, the field of international education achieved the highest number of points in the index. The number of foreign students (foreign students who acquired their higher education entrance qualification abroad) reached a record high of 111,000 in 2019, but then fell back to 86,500 in 2020 due to the pandemic. The target was 87,000 first semester students courses. The proportion of graduates with Erasmus experience, on the other hand, has stagnated over the years.

In second and third place the fields of action quaternary education (47 points) and vocational-academic education (46 points) have tended to develop positively but well below the targets. The number of graduates of further education courses has more than doubled within ten years to around 12,000 in 2020 and only just missed the target value. The proportion of students in distance learning and the proportion of part-time master’s courses has developed positively, but much too slowly. In vocational-academic training, it is positive that the number of people starting a dual course of study has almost doubled since 2010 to around 30,000 in 2020, albeit with large regional differences. There is still not an offer for dual study programs in all federal states. Overall, they only account for 7.9 percent of all courses; The goal was 11.1 percent

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In the field of teacher training, too, the indicators have developed little positively – the index only reaches 37 out of 100 points. Only the indicator “success rate in teaching” reached its target of 80 percent. All of the other indicators examined fell short of their targets: the percentage of new STEM students in the teaching profession fell to 26 percent, three percentage points below the initial value, as did the proportion of women teaching computer science. Primary school teaching remains unattractive for men: their share has stagnated over the years at 16.9 percent.

bottom of the index are the fields of action STEM education (32 points) and equal opportunity education (31 points). In the MINT field of action, many improvements have been made in terms of diversity (percentage of women in T courses, proportion of foreigners), but the number of MINT graduates has declined alarmingly. In the subjects mathematics, computer science and natural sciences (MIN) there were 41,200 graduates in 2020, even 7,400 fewer than ten years earlier. In the field of equal opportunities education, the number of foreign students at universities has hardly increased over the past ten years. In addition, the study success rate of foreign students after positive development until 2018 was recently declining again. In terms of their absolute number, children from non-academic households are still greatly underrepresented at universities. Only 27 percent of them recently started studying, with academic children it was 79 percent.