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News vom 12.12.2006

More than 12 per cent of all German students see themselves as part-time students

More part-time offers should be created and study fee rules adjusted.

More than 12 per cent of all German students see themselves as part-time students. This is the result of a study by the CHE Centre for Higher Education Development. In some study programmes, the percentage of part-time students is extraordinarily high. One third of all students of Educational Sciences and more than a quarter of all students of Politics, German Studies, Sociology and Historical Sciences do not pursue their studies on a full-time basis. In Biochemistry, Pharmacy and Medicine the figure is less than 5 per cent. Part-time study programmes, however, make up only 2 per cent of the overall offer. This means that a considerable proportion of today’s part-time students faces study conditions designed for full-time students.

The results suggest that there is a demand for part-time offers. This is important especially in the context of the on-going transformation into module-based study programmes aiming at Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees. A greater portion of mandatory classes and more regulations in these study programmes could make unofficial part-time study even more difficult. In particular, study programmes which show a high percentage of unofficial part-time students should consider offering more flexible programmes .The need for part time study programmes becomes obvious when seen against the background of the implementation of tuition fees. As long as there are no provisions for the handling of part-time students and only few official part-time offers, part-time students will be disadvantaged by the per semester tuition fees. It would be a better idea to calculate fees according to study programme take-up, for example a per module calculation.

Time not spent on studying is often used for working. While outside work constitutes less than 20 per cent of full-time students’ funding, part-time students fund themselves from their own income at a rate of more than 56 per cent. National student support bank loans (Bafög) and student grants support the living costs of part-time students to a lesser extent than is the case with full-time students.

The results have been drawn from a special analysis of individual questions in student interviews within the framework of the CHE higher education ranking. To compile the ranking, students from the most popular study programmes are interviewed each year about their study situation and about their satisfaction with the study programme. The individual programmes are examined on a three-year cycle. The current analysis used the data collected in the 2004-2006 cycle.


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