Educational Returns from Studying at the Baden-Wuerttemberg Cooperative State University

In Germany, higher education is seen as a guarantee of a secure living and a fulfilled life, such as education in general is. And indeed, the opportunities on the job market for university graduates in Germany are as good as they have been for a long time.

However, whether taking up a college degree is financially worthwhile depends on many factors, including the field of study and the resulting career opportunities as well as the demand for graduates. However, one must also bear in mind that students do not earn anything during their studies, even have to spend on living expenses, and there may also be fields of study in which the chances of employment and earning are scarcely better than those for vocational training. This is measured in scientific research with the help of so-called educational returns.

A special case not considered in scientific literature and also in political discourse, is the study at a dual university, for example at the Baden-Wuerttemberg Cooperative State University (DHBW). Compared to a normal university study, there are some differences which affect the calculation of educational returns.

The aim of the research project is to examine the educational return of a study at the DHBW. This is primarily about the individual return on education (higher income in relation to individual effort). The income and costs of the education decision are calculated or possibly estimated and compared with a counterfactual situation. Studying at a university of applied sciences (formerly Fachhochschulen), at a university, or even qualifying as master craftsmen or technicians following dual vocational training represent the alternatives.

The project uses modern evaluation methods based on econometric methods and data from the National Educational Panel Study (NEPS), also known as "Educational Trajectories in Germany". On this basis, further analyses of the social return on education (expenditure and income can also be incurred by the companies involved as well as the state) are possible.

Das Forschungsvorhaben hat zum Ziel, die Bildungsrendite eines Studiums an der DHBW zu untersuchen. Dabei geht es in erster Linie um die individuelle Bildungsrendite (höheres Einkommen im Verhältnis zum individuellen Aufwand). Hierbei werden die Erträge und Kosten der Bildungsentscheidung berechnet oder ggf. geschätzt und mit einer kontrafaktischen Situation verglichen. Hierbei stellen ein Studium an einer Hochschule für angewandte Wissenschaften (ehemals Fachhochschulen), an einer Universität oder auch die Qualifizierung als Meister oder Techniker im Anschluss an eine duale Berufsausbildung die Alternativen dar.

Das Projekt nutzt moderne Evaluationsmethoden auf der Basis ökonometrischer Verfahren und Daten des Nationale Bildungspanel (National Educational Panel Study, NEPS), bekannt auch als „Bildungsverläufe in Deutschland“. Auf dieser Basis können dann weitere Analysen zur sozialen Bildungsrendite (Aufwand und Ertrag entstehen auch bei den beteiligten Unternehmen sowie beim Staat) erfolgen.

Commissioned by:

  • Foundation of the Baden-Wuerttemberg Cooperative State University (DHBW)

Project team:

  • Dr. Tobias Brändle (Project leader)
  • Philipp Kugler M.Sc.
  • Anne Zühlke M.Sc.
  • Prof. Dr. Bernhard Boockmann (Consulting)

Contact Person:
Prof. Dr. Tobias Brändle ( +49 // E-Mail )


2018 - 2019