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News vom 20.10.2008

New data atlas for quick information examines the subject preferences of first-year students

While first-year students from the south or west of Germany prefer study programmes in mathematics and natural sciences, their fellow students from the north prefer to take up programmes in law, economics and social sciences. In addition, linguistics and cultural studies are favoured by students from western Germany, while students from the east clearly prefer engineering.

These are the results in summary of a new study by CHE Consult which have also been covered by the German magazine "Der Spiegel". For the first time, statements can be made about subject preferences on the basis of counties and urban districts in Germany with the help of the Data Atlas for German Higher Education Systems developed by CHE Consult. The study included mathematics and natural sciences, linguistics and cultural studies, law, economics and social sciences as well as engineering. Based on empirical examinations, the study proposes hypotheses about the extent to which the development of subject preference is related to study programme offers and work places, the regional economic structure and the traditional, historical and infrastructural factors of a region. It therefore offers pointers for product development in the context of higher education marketing, communal business development and development planning.

Fluctuations in the demand for study places do not emerge to the same extent or at the same time across the country. Up until now, however, there has been a lack of reliable predictions to put higher education institutions (HEIs) in a better position to be able to assess their situation in terms of future demand. The Data Altas provides a remedy for this and, through the analysis of catchment area structures, migrational behaviour and evaluations of regional market volumes of first-year students, the Atlas will enable HEIs to develop measures adapted to their respective situation in terms of demand.

The Data Atlas not only shows the extent to which a higher education institution or region will be affected by demographic development. From the data collected, HEIs can also derive regionally-differentiated, high education policy strategies for regions and Länder as well as geomarketing concepts for individual higher education institutions and higher education locations. A practical analysis instrument for higher education planning and marketing, it enables higher education institutions to identify strategically relevant areas of activity and to determine concrete measures.

The demographic atlas will soon also be available online. It is currently being tested in cooperation with selected HEIs.

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Britta Hoffmann-Kobert
Britta Hoffmann-Kobertmehr
Phone: +49 5241 9761-27
Fax: +49 5241 9761-40
Email: britta.hoffmann-kobert

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