5. System performance in terms of student success

The number of students in higher education varies greatly between the Western and Eastern states. Since 2000, the number of students in higher education in Germany’s Western states has increased by 64%. The East German states have been recovering from migration losses after reunification and, thus, the increase in student numbers was lower (46%). The number of students in Brandenburg increased from 33 000 in 2000 to 50 360 in the winter semester 2020/21. However, most of that increase occurred before 2015; over the last five years, enrolments have been stable or declining.

While Brandenburg has 3% of the German population, it accounts for only 1.7% of all students (the fourth lowest share) in German higher education. In light of the high median age of Brandenburg’s population, its relatively low contribution to the overall student population in Germany is not surprising (Statistisches Bundesamt, 2020[1]).

While student numbers in Brandenburg have remained almost stable over the last ten years, there has been a significant shift in study fields (Figure 5.1). Student numbers have dropped in mathematics and natural sciences by 43%, in humanities by 16% and in arts by 8%. Over the same period, numbers have grown in engineering by 37%, in agriculture, forestry, nutrition and veterinary by 28% and in law, business and social sciences by 8%.

The largest study fields in Germany are law, business, social sciences (37% of all students); engineering (27%), humanities (11%) and mathematics and natural sciences (11%). The overall picture for Brandenburg is similar, but there is a higher share of Brandenburg students in these fields: law, business and social sciences (39%), humanities (19%); sports (2.1%) and agriculture, forestry, nutrition, veterinary (3.6%). Conversely, engineering (22%), mathematics and natural sciences (10%) and human medicine and health sciences (1.3%) are comparatively lower.

As in most German federal states and OECD countries, gender differences between fields of study are common in Brandenburg’s higher education system. Female students make up a higher share than male students in law, business, social sciences (43% vs. 35%), humanities (24% vs 13%) and agriculture, forestry, nutrition, veterinary (4.3% vs 2.8%). Enrolments in engineering (32% male vs. 12% female) and sports (2.9% male vs. 1.4% female) are more popular among men than women.

The universities of applied sciences (UAS) have a stronger focus in some fields of studies than universities. For example, 80% of all students study business, social sciences and engineering at Brandenburg’s UAS (compared to 54%, including law studies, at universities). Certain other fields are less well represented at UAS such as humanities (3.1% vs. 25% at universities), mathematics and natural sciences (0.9% vs. 13% at universities). On the other hand, agriculture, forestry and nutrition accounts for 9.5% of students at UAS and only 1.2% at universities.

Compared to the German average, a higher percentage of Brandenburg’s students pursue a master’s (24% vs. 19%) or a doctoral degree (5.8% vs. 4.1%). The share of master’s students at universities is significantly higher than at UAS (32%1 vs. 20%). However, both are above the German average (27% at universities and 15% at UAS). Similar to the German average, almost 9% of students are in a teaching programme; of those, two-thirds are in a bachelor’s programme and one-third in a master’s programme.

In Brandenburg, female students are in the majority (52%; third highest share among states). This is especially the case at universities (54%) compared to 49% of all German students and 51% at German universities. They are, however, in the minority at UAS (45%). The gender profile of Brandenburg’s UAS more closely resembles that of institutions in the West (44% women) than in the East German states (49%). This probably results from the strong technical-engineering orientation of most study programmes at UAS in Brandenburg.2

Brandenburg’s higher education students are older than the average German student: more than half (51%) of all students in Brandenburg are over 25 years of age and 22% are over 30 compared to 45% and 17% in Germany, respectively. Interestingly, UAS have a higher share of younger students than universities (42% aged 20-25 at UAS vs. 39%). Students 35 years and older, who often study part-time or with a more flexible agenda, are also more highly represented in UAS than in universities (10% vs. 8%).

From 2000 onwards, the number of international students in higher education has increased in Brandenburg from 2 700 to 8 700. In 2019/20, their share increased from 9.2% to 18%, which makes Brandenburg’s higher education system the second most international after Berlin. There is a particularly high share of foreign students in Brandenburg’s universities (20%). The share of international students at UAS (14%) is also above average.

Most international students in Brandenburg study science, technology, engineering or mathematics (STEM) and business fields, which are in demand by the state labour market. This largely compensates for declining student demand from Brandenburg and the rest of Germany in these fields of study at some of the local higher education institutions (HEIs). International students constitute one-third of the student body at the Brandenburg University of Technology Cottbus-Senftenberg and one-fourth at the Europa University Viadrina.

Brandenburg’s students take longer to complete their studies than those in other German states and some may not graduate at all (Figure 5.2). In 2018, eight years after enrolling as a student for the first time (2010 cohort), only 72% of Brandenburg’s students had completed their studies (compared to 78% on average, in Germany). This was the third lowest rate in Germany. The trend has been similar in most cohorts. Only the 2006 cohort had performed close to the German average of 78% (completing 12 years after enrolment). Some calculations of dropout rates from Germany, based on another methodological approach3, indicate that slightly more than one-quarter of students drop out of higher education (Heublein, U. and R. Schmelzer, 2018[3]).

Students give both personal and professional reasons for non-completion. Some students, for example, may never have intended to complete. They enrolled only to benefit from their student status or else to acquire a particular skill.

The share of students who take a leave from their studies is relatively high (20% vs. 16%, in Germany) according to the 21. Sozialerhebung (21st Social Survey of German students) (Middendorff, E. et al., 2017[5]) (Middendorff, E. et al., 2017[6]). On average, one in four students in Brandenburg takes longer than two semesters, compared to one in five across Germany. However, there are differences between female (1.8 semesters) and male students (2.5 semesters). Almost twice as many university students as students at UAS take a leave from education. The patterns differ also by socio-economic background. Disadvantaged students tend to take shorter leaves than those with high socio-economic background and for different reasons.

The rationale for taking a leave from studies ranges from personal to professional reasons. Health and financial problems and finding employment are among the major reasons for interrupting their studies. In contrast to the rest of Germany, however, relatively few students from Brandenburg declare taking a leave for an internship opportunity or a stay abroad. In addition, more than one-third of Brandenburg’s leavers4 (36%) do so questioning the purpose of their studies – a much higher rate than the German average (23%) (Schirmer, H., 2017[7]). The latter result, however, represents largely the views of students in humanities and social sciences, as it refers predominantly to responses from the University of Potsdam and not the whole higher education sector in Brandenburg.

The system’s relative flexibility allows students to move easily between programmes and HEIs. Socio-economic background plays a role, too: 38% of students from a non-academic household and 27% of students from high socio-economic background switch between programmes or institutions. Again, many more university students use their right to switch a programme. Students usually switch to another programme within their field of study.

The share of students whose parents have a higher education is slightly higher in Brandenburg (53%) than the German average (48%). However, relatively fewer students in Brandenburg are financially supported by their parents (79% vs. 86%) and the average monthly payments are lower (EUR 483 in Brandenburg vs. EUR 541 in Germany). Moreover, around 70% of students work during their studies in both Brandenburg and the rest of Germany. However, on average, 68% of Brandenburg’s students use their earnings to finance their studies compared to only 61% in Germany (Table 5.1).

Not surprisingly, the highest study-related expenses are for housing. Potsdam ranks as the most expensive city in the Eastern German states and has the seventh highest employment rate in Germany among students to cover their living costs. The lack of affordable housing in Potsdam presents an important challenge for all students. However, it is more difficult for international students because of discrimination in the housing market (Apolinarski and Brandt, 2018[8]). By contrast, all other HEI locations in Brandenburg offer more affordable living space. Around 18% of students in Brandenburg live in on-campus student accommodation/dormitory facilities (12% in Germany) (Middendorff, E. et al., 2017[5]) (Middendorff, E. et al., 2017[6]).

Student financial support in Germany is a federal government responsibility. The major financial aid comes from Bundesausbildungsförderungsgesetz – BAföG (Federal Training and Education Assistance Act). German students (and foreign students who have long-term prospects of remaining in Germany5) who meet the scheme’s age limits6 are eligible to apply for financial assistance. The assistance duration corresponds to the regular period of the study programme. The amount of the assistance depends on the student’s own income and financial means, as well as those of his or her parents and domestic partner. Half of the support takes the form of a grant, while the other is an interest-free state loan totalling no more than EUR 10 000. This loan must be repaid in instalments after completion of regular study. Since 2016/17, students in higher education not living with their parents may receive up to EUR 735 per month. Where applicable, they may receive a child-care supplement of EUR 130 per month for each child (Kultusministerkonferenz, 2019[9]).

Brandenburg has a high proportion of older students and many students take longer to complete their studies. Only around 10 000 students (20%) received BAföG in 2019, which is the German average. Almost half of Brandenburg’s beneficiaries receive full funding. The average monthly payment to Brandenburg’s students of EUR 551 is the third-highest after Hamburg and Berlin. In light of high housing costs, Potsdam is ranked the seventh most expensive study location in Germany according to (Middendorff, E. et al., 2017[5]) (Middendorff, E. et al., 2017[6]); the BAföG alone does not appear sufficient to cover student living expenses in that city. Students from low socio-economic backgrounds are in an especially difficult position: 41% in Brandenburg (vs. only 16% in Germany) do not qualify for BAföG because they have been enrolled longer than the regular study time of their programme (Table 5.2).

Around 65% of Brandenburg’s students and 68% of German students overall do not qualify for assistance due to the relatively high income of their parents or domestic partner (Table 5.2). Yet 72% of Brandenburg’s students would prefer being financially independent from their families (Table 5.1).

The support system is supplemented through Bildungskreditprogramm (Educational Credit Programme). This programme is offered by the federal government in conjunction with Kreditanstalt für Wiederaufbau – KfW (Reconstruction Loan Corporation) and Bundesverwaltungsamt – BVA (Federal Office of Administration), which can support students in an advanced stage of their education. This loan scheme can be used to fund exceptional expenses not covered by the Federal Training Assistance Act7 (Kultusministerkonferenz, 2019[9]).

As noted in Chapter 3, the federal assistance for continuing education and training (Aufstiegsfortbildungsförderungsgesetz, AFBG) was initially conceived to finance the skills development of craftsmen and other vocationally trained workers. With its most recent 2016 amendment, AFBG can cover some types of continuing education and training courses at HEIs. Specifically, the study must not be eligible for support under BAföG or Sozialgesetzbuch – SGB (Social Security Code) and cannot be for an academic degree. Unlike the BAföG scheme, AFBG financial aid does not depend on the student’s age and is not based on parents’ income.

Gifted and high-achieving students can be supported by a grant from the 13 foundations for the promotion of young talent supported by the federal state. The largest of these groups is Studienstiftung des deutschen Volkes (German National Merit Foundation) and the Deutschlandstipendien. Around 1% of holders of these awards are from Brandenburg. The remaining organisations mirror the various religious, political, business or union-based organisations in Germany and support Brandenburg’s students to various degrees (Table 5.3).

On completion of a first degree, students may also receive scholarships to support further studies in line with the Postgraduate Assistance Acts. Begabtenförderungswerke (foundations for gifted students) also provide grants to enable students with a first degree to study for a doctorate. Gifted people with professional experience who want to study after several years of professional activity may apply for “upgrading” scholarships via Stiftung Begabtenförderung berufliche Bildung gGmbH – SBB (Vocational Education and Training Promotion Foundation for Gifted Young People). For 2008-21, less than 1% of all beneficiaries of that scheme has been studying at Brandenburg’s HEIs. As noted in Chapter 3, SBB also provides scholarships to support continuing education measures for young people in employment. These youth must have completed a recognised course of vocational education and training or one of the health sector professions governed by federal law. They must also be younger than 25 when they start the programme (Continued Training Scholarship).

The German Academic Exchange Service (Deutscher Akademischer Austauschdienst (DAAD)) offers grants for foreign students and up-and-coming academics and scientists. These grants support studies or further education of limited duration at a German HEI. Alongside the DAAD, some Länder also have special funds for foreign students at the local institutions of higher education.

Studentenwerke (two student service organisations in Brandenburg) are the major information and guidance points of contact for student financing in Brandenburg, including on BAföG applications. HEIs, their Netzwerk Studienorientierung (Student Orientation Network) and Präsenzstellen (presence centres) also advise prospective students on the cost of study and funding but not necessarily on the BAföG application process. The employment agency refers school students to relevant websites and agencies but does not provide targeted guidance. Secondary schools in Brandenburg are the major providers of career and study orientation in Brandenburg. However, they do not provide advice on funding options for higher education.

A recent project, funded by European Social Fund (ESF) and the Ministerium für Wissenschaft, Forschung und Kultur – MWFK (Ministry of Science, Research and Culture) aims to provide more structured information about student financing options, including scholarships. This project provides an online overview of options for prospective students and study and career counsellors (Technische Hochschule Wildau, 2018[11]).

The amount of time that students take to complete their degree has implications both for them and the economy. Students who complete within the regular time can contribute to the labour market earlier. This provides employers with greater access to the skills they need to support innovation. Taking longer than expected increases the risk of dropping out of higher education without a qualification. This, in turn, heightens the risk of being left behind as the economy changes. Non-completion also raises efficiency concerns as it can represent a waste of financial and human resources in the state higher education system.

Several factors explain why Brandenburg’s students do not complete their studies in the prescribed period. Some students may not have the skills to succeed in the chosen programme or may not receive enough support from their HEI to help them succeed. In addition, transfer pathways and credit recognition make it relatively easy to switch programmes or HEIs; many students in Brandenburg do so.

Brandenburg’s HEIs have successfully implemented a number of measures to orient and prepare students for studies. These include self-assessment, student laboratories and junior studies, projects that appeal to special groups (e.g. women for STEM), colleges or college-like programmes (Box 5.1). These initiatives are often funded by MWFK or the ESF.

In 2017, the state government set up the Erfolgreicher Studieneinstieg für internationale Studierende in Brandenburg (EsiSt) (Successful Entrance to Studies for International Students) network. It seeks to help facilitate access to higher education for international students, including refugees, without a higher education entrance qualification recognised in Germany and/or who do not have the German language skills to take up studies. Its goal is to strengthen the loyalty of international students to Brandenburg’s HEIs, especially in more peripheral regions of the state. The HEIs design, implement and execute the programme in co-ordination with the ESiSt network. There are dedicated state funds for this initiative. With this programme, the state government has gone beyond the resolution of the Standing Conference from May 2016 on “Access and admission to higher education for refugees” (Box 5.2).

While the success of the programme is still unclear, it has attracted relatively high interest from prospective students. In 2019, more than 1 000 candidates applied for the language and specialist course programmes carried out as part of ESiSt. Three-quarters had a valid entrance qualification certificate but lacked the German language level required for their studies. Meanwhile, one-quarter had a foreign school leaving certificate that did not correspond to the German qualification. Only 328 candidates enrolled and 134 completed the programme successfully. There are still no data on the transition rate to higher education, but initial feedback shows that most successful participants studied at one of Brandenburg’s HEIs; others moved on to higher education in another federal state. An evaluation of the ESiSt programme for international students is envisaged for 2023.

Taking leave may suggest that students are not well prepared. It may also result from logistical difficulties (e.g. the need to balance commitments to study and employment, coupled with financial pressures and long commuting times). In addition, it may signal quality issues in learning and teaching. Completion rates in Brandenburg’s higher education system are low with a completion rate of just above 70% eight years after starting. In addition, the share of Brandenburg students who take leave from their studies is higher than the German average, particularly among university students.

Various counselling services and structures are available at Brandenburg’s HEIs and the Studentenwerke, and it appears that students make relatively good use of them (Figure 5.3). Difficulty with concentration and depression – the two most pressing issues identified by the Sozialerhebung (Middendorff, E. et al., 2017[5]) (Middendorff, E. et al., 2017[6])seem well covered by the counselling offer. However, the visibility and scope of services should be examined. There are few services for many other pressing problems: time management, combining studies and work, personal finance, couple problems, study completion, organising studies and learning problems, among others.

Brandenburg’s Studentenwerke have noticed an increased need for psychological counselling in view of the COVID-19 pandemic. This particularly affects international students who may struggle to get help because of language and insurance barriers. In the group of students with special circumstances (students with disabilities/chronic illnesses, single parents with children), existing problems have also worsened. Studentenwerke met increased requests for advice by setting up additional appointments and offering advice via telephone and video conference.

HEIs’ applications for funding in the last ESF round highlighted the need to make available advisory structures more visible and transparent for the various target groups. Within the 2021-27 funding period, HEIs will focus on offering better targeted support to first-generation students, students from a migrant background and international students. The experience of the Austrian University of Graz (see Box 5.3), which offers individual consultation and counselling to disadvantaged students and helps them develop social networks, could serve as a good example.

The relatively long distance between living and studying locations and long commute time of students at Brandenburg’s HEIs may be another factor leading to students dropping out or changing their HEI. Most of Brandenburg’s students (59% vs. 16% of Berlin’s students and 39% in Germany, on average) do not live near their study location, they commute 46 minutes in one direction on average (vs. 40 minutes in Berlin and 33 minutes in Germany), and 28% (vs. 11% in Germany) need more than an hour to get to their HEI from home, mainly via public transportation (57% vs. 41% in Germany) (Middendorff, E. et al., 2017[5]) (Middendorff, E. et al., 2017[6]). Maintaining a hybrid teaching approach (as was done during the COVID-19-related HEI closures) could reduce the need to attend class in person. This might help students with family and professional commitments at their living location to complete their studies. Others, by contrast, might get motivated to move to their study location if they are better aware of its advantages. For instance, the General Students Committee of the EUV Frankfurt/Oder is running the Zieh nach Frankfurt (“Relocate to Frankfurt”) initiative. This informs students of all the advantages related to living and studying in Frankfurt/Oder. The low cost for rental accommodation, proximity to nature and modern facilities on campus are some of the benefits students can enjoy at Brandenburg’s HEI sites.

Leaving higher education can affect a non-completer’s career prospects. Leaving higher education for a job may not be a critical issue for non-completers immediately. However, as employers increasingly demand advanced skills, lack of qualifications may impede non-completers from progressing in their careers. In Austria, informal agreements between job-out students and their employers provide offers of individualised learning formats in support for study completion (see Box 5.3). This is a potential solution for some cases but might be difficult to implement institution- or system-wide.

The multiple pathways for entry into the state-wide higher education system provide the job-outs with some opportunities to return to higher education later in life. However, the relatively rigid system of federal student financial assistance (BMBF, n.d.[19]), BAföG – available only to full-time students younger than 30 for bachelor’s degrees and younger than 35 for master’s degrees and dependent on parents’ income – may represent a hurdle. The analysis above suggests that financial problems present a barrier to completion for some of Brandenburg’s students. They tend to be older, and hence more likely in a job and/or caring for minor children and elderly parents than the average German student.

Some European countries require their HEIs to enter into study contracts so they can monitor students’ progress and ensure timely intervention; yet, again BAföG emerges as a hurdle. For these contracts to be effective, their purpose and reporting mechanisms should be clear to both HEIs and students and be linked to financial assistance. For instance, the Flemish Community has a study contract between HEIs and students that outlines how many European Credit Transfer and Accumulation System (ECTS) credits the student aims to complete during the semester and links student loan entitlements to achievement of this target. BAföG ties eligibility to the standard completion time of the student’s programme. As a result, students who make slow progress may lose entitlement towards the end of their studies. However, limits to eligibility and delay of consequences for poor performance until the end of the programme blunt the effectiveness of BAföG as a performance incentive.

In addition, the differences in targeting and entitlements between AFBG and BAföG raise questions about the alignment of the two schemes and whether the application procedures are user-friendly and efficient.

Box 5.4 describes Norway’s State Educational Loan Fund as a counterexample of a single provider of student financial assistance for all education levels and target groups.

A number of countries survey students as part of a suite of quality indicators for learning and teaching in higher education (Box 5.5). Student engagement surveys provide indicators on effective learning and teaching practices but also campus environment. The American example in Box 5.5 is designed to produce information that HEIs can use to identify areas of poor process and help them manage the quality of learning. Studierendenbefragung in Germany covers some important aspects such as campus environment, experience with work-based learning, stays abroad and leaves of absence. However, it does not include questions about academic challenge, learning with peers, teaching methods, and experiences with faculty. The framework contracts between MWFK and Brandenburg’s HEIs envisage the collection and provision of some of these data. MWFK could manage a state-wide survey on student engagement with data provided to HEIs to feed into their quality improvement work.

Brandenburg has adjusted its performance funding model to reward HEIs for the number of graduates (Chapter 3) but does not evaluate whether this measure has affected completion. Following Austria’s example, Brandenburg’s funding model could include an indicator related to student study progression. For example, it could measure the number of “examination-active students” (i.e. those who obtained at least 16 ECTS credits per year) – if data are available – along with the number of graduates (see Box 5.3). The state government also needs to assess the institutional model to ensure it increases in line with student numbers, enabling HEIs to maintain capability and quality as they grow.


[8] Apolinarski and Brandt (2018), International Students in Germany 2016: Results of the Survey of International Students as Part of the 21st Social Survey of Deutsches Studentenwerk, conducted by the German Centre for Higher Education Research and Sciand Science Studies, Berlin: Bundesministerium für Bildung und Forschung.

[19] BMBF (n.d.), Das BAföG: alle Infos auf einen Blick, Berlin: Bundesministerium für Bildung und Forschung, https://www.xn--bafg-7qa.de/bafoeg/de/das-bafoeg-alle-infos-auf-einen-blick/das-bafoeg-alle-infos-auf-einen-blick_node.html;jsessionid=7BD1CDAF603734C99C2DFDC83114CEB6.live721.

[18] BMBWF (2017), Nationale Strategie zur sozialen Dimension in der Hochschulbildung, Bundesministerium für Bildung und Forschung.

[14] Hasso Plattner Institute (n.d.), Youth Academy, https://hpi.de/en/studies/before-your-studies/youth-academy.html.

[3] Heublein, U. and R. Schmelzer (2018), Die Entwicklung der Studienabbruchquoten an den deutschen Hochschulen: Berechnungen auf Basis des Absolventenjahrgangs 2016, DZHW.

[15] HNEE (n.d.), Hochschule » Offene Hochschule » Future Camp Workcamps, Hochschule für nachhaltige Entwicklung Eberswalde, https://hnee.de/de/Hochschule/Offene-Hochschule/Future-Camp-Workcamps/Dein-Workcamp-Dein-Studium-Deine-ZukunftMit-den-HNEE-Workcamps-erfolgreich-ins-Studium-starten-K5642.html (accessed on 13 October 2021).

[9] Kultusministerkonferenz (2019), The Education System in the Federal Republic of Germany – A description of the responsibilities, structures and developments in education, Ständige Konferenz der Kultusminister der Länder in der Bundesrepublik Deutschland.

[5] Middendorff, E. et al. (2017), Die wirtschaftliche und soziale Lage der Studierenden in Deutschland 2016. 21. Sozialerhebung des Deutschen Studentenwerks – durchgeführt vom Deutschen Zentrum für Hochschul- und Wissenschaftsforschung, Berlin: Bundesministerium für Bildung und Forschung (BMBF).

[6] Middendorff, E. et al. (2017), Die wirtschaftliche und soziale Lage der Studierenden in Deutschland 2016. 21.Sozialerhebung des Deutschen Studentenwerks – durchgeführt vom DZHW. Randauszählung zur 21. Sozialerhebung für deutsche und bildungsinländische Studierende für Brandenburg, http://www.sozialerhebung.de/sozialerhebung/archiv/download/21/Soz21_ra_brandenburg.pdf.

[16] Netzwerk Studienorientierung Brandenburg (n.d.), Mediatek der Online Angebote, https://studieren-in-brandenburg.de/angebote/weitere-online-angebote-zur-studienorientierung/ (accessed on 1 April 2022).

[20] OECD (2018), Higher Education in Norway: Labour Market Relevance and Outcomes, Higher Education, OECD Publishing, Paris, https://dx.doi.org/10.1787/9789264301757-en.

[7] Schirmer, H. (2017), Die wirtschaftliche und soziale Lage der Studierenden in Potsdam 2016. Regionalauswertung der 21. Sozialerhebung durchgeführt vom DZHW für das Studentenwerk Potsdam., DZHW.

[13] Schülerlabor-Atlas (n.d.), Schülerlabore in Brandenburg, http://www.schuelerlabor-atlas.de/schuelerlabore/in/Brandenburg.

[10] Statistisches Bundesamt (2021), Deutschlandstipendium, https://www.destatis.de/DE/Themen/Gesellschaft-Umwelt/Bildung-Forschung-Kultur/Bildungsfinanzen-Ausbildungsfoerderung/Tabellen/_tabellen-innen-deutschlandatipendium.html (accessed on 15 March 2022).

[2] Statistisches Bundesamt (2021), Hochschulstatistik, https://www.destatis.de/DE/Themen/Gesellschaft-Umwelt/Bildung-Forschung-Kultur/Hochschulen/Methoden/Erlaeuterungen/hochschulen.html.

[4] Statistisches Bundesamt (2020), Bildung und Kultur: Erfolgsquoten, Berechnung für die Studienanfängerjahrgänge 2006 bis 2010.

[1] Statistisches Bundesamt (2020), “Studierende an Hochschulen - vorläufige Ergebnisse - Wintersemester 2020/2021”, webpage, https://www.destatis.de/DE/Themen/Gesellschaft-Umwelt/Bildung-Forschung-Kultur/Hochschulen/Publikationen/_publikationen-innen-hochschulen-studierende-vorlaeufig.html (accessed on 16 February 2021).

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[11] Technische Hochschule Wildau (2018), Förderatlas: Stipendien in Brandenburg, webpage, https://www.th-wildau.de/studieren-weiterbilden/beratung-alt/studienfinanzierung/foerderatlas-stipendien-in-brandenburg/ (accessed on 6 December 2021).

[17] Technische Hochschule Wildau (n.d.), TH Mint +, http://www.th-wildau.de/hochschule/zentrale-einrichtungen/zentrum-fuer-qualitaetsentwicklung/th-mint/ (accessed on 3 December 2021).


← 1. For comparability between universities and UAS, the figure of 32% for master’s degrees in universities excludes enrolments in teaching degrees, which are only offered as a university programme in Brandenburg.

← 2. Preliminary results for 2020/21 indicate a particularly strong increase in female students at Brandenburg’s UAS (5.5 % vs. 0.7% for universities).

← 3. The approach is based on the two elements: derivation of academic success (or failure) from the structure of the final exams passed in an examination year; and the resulting compilation of a corresponding group of new students from different years of the beginning of the course.

← 4. The numbers in this paragraph refer to the following HEIs (University of Potsdam, FH Potsdam, Film University, TH Wildau and TH Brandenburg) and not the whole of Brandenburg’s higher education sector.

← 5. Students who are not German but who hold a settlement permit or have a prospect for permanent residency under the EU Freedom of Movement Law are also eligible to apply for the federal government’s BAföG financial assistance scheme.

← 6. To be eligible for funding under the BAföG, students must have started their higher education by 30 years of age. For master’s study courses, the commencement age limit is 35 years.

← 7. Borrowing under this scheme is only open to students under the age of 36 years and before the end of the 12th semester of study. Those restrictions exclude an important share of Brandenburg’s student population. The loan accrues interest as soon as it is paid out. However, interest is automatically deferred until repayment commences.

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