About this paper

Appears in:
Page: 2309 (abstract only)
Publication year: 2017
ISBN: 978-84-697-6957-7
ISSN: 2340-1095
doi: 10.21125/iceri.2017.0666

Conference name: 10th annual International Conference of Education, Research and Innovation
Dates: 16-18 November, 2017
Location: Seville, Spain

THE TRANSITION TO POSTGRADUATE STUDIES IN GERMANY: DO FIRST-GENERATION STUDENTS HAVE DIFFERENT INTENTIONS?

T. Fischer

University of Flensburg (GERMANY)
Over the last few decades, there has been growing interest in widening participation within higher education for students from diverse social and educational backgrounds. According to rational choice theory social background plays a crucial role for educational transitions and the reproduction of social inequality. It has been argued that educational decisions from individuals with lower social backgrounds are driven by the fundamental desire to avoid the risk of downward social class mobility. In Germany, more than 40 percent of students at universities and 63 percent at universities of applied science are first-generation students. However, up to now, the research has tended to focus on the entry to higher education and student retention for undergraduates rather than on the transition to postgraduate studies. Thus, there is lack on comprehensive empirical studies, especially for students whose parents have had no college experience.

Against this background, the present study aims to examine new insights into the transition from undergraduates to postgraduate studies. The analysis focuses on first-generations students and their peers and examines the intention to pursue a master's degree. The current data stems from a representative study (Studierendensurvey) commissioned by the working group on university research that was carried out in 2012. The data covers 2363 students from different fields of study and institutions (university and university of applied sciences) who were enrolled for a bachelor’s degree.

Logistic regression models were conducted to examine the effect of independent variables (parental educational level, migration background, gender, field of studies, grades) on the dependent binary variable (intention to leave or pursue after bachelor’s degree). The data reveals that first-generation students are less likely to pursue a master’s degree than their peers. Furthermore, the empirical findings suggest the importance of gender and age in the transition to postgraduate studies.
@InProceedings{FISCHER2017TRA,
author = {Fischer, T.},
title = {THE TRANSITION TO POSTGRADUATE STUDIES IN GERMANY: DO FIRST-GENERATION STUDENTS HAVE DIFFERENT INTENTIONS?},
series = {10th annual International Conference of Education, Research and Innovation},
booktitle = {ICERI2017 Proceedings},
isbn = {978-84-697-6957-7},
issn = {2340-1095},
doi = {10.21125/iceri.2017.0666},
url = {http://dx.doi.org/10.21125/iceri.2017.0666},
publisher = {IATED},
location = {Seville, Spain},
month = {16-18 November, 2017},
year = {2017},
pages = {2309}}
TY - CONF
AU - T. Fischer
TI - THE TRANSITION TO POSTGRADUATE STUDIES IN GERMANY: DO FIRST-GENERATION STUDENTS HAVE DIFFERENT INTENTIONS?
SN - 978-84-697-6957-7/2340-1095
DO - 10.21125/iceri.2017.0666
PY - 2017
Y1 - 16-18 November, 2017
CI - Seville, Spain
JO - 10th annual International Conference of Education, Research and Innovation
JA - ICERI2017 Proceedings
SP - 2309
EP - 2309
ER -
T. Fischer (2017) THE TRANSITION TO POSTGRADUATE STUDIES IN GERMANY: DO FIRST-GENERATION STUDENTS HAVE DIFFERENT INTENTIONS?, ICERI2017 Proceedings, p. 2309.
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