YEAR 2020

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Largest representative survey on the impact of coronavirus on educational biographies launched


As part of the National Educational Panel Study (NEPS)—the largest long-term study on education in Germany—all participants are currently being surveyed concerning the corona pandemic. In the current and all upcoming surveys, the effects of the corona pandemic on everyday school, work, and family life will be examined. As a result, we will be able to research not only retrospective differences in dealing with the crisis but also long-term consequences for educational biographies in Germany.


To examine the long-term impact of coronavirus on the life course, all adult respondents were invited in May of this year to take the online survey. The surveys have already started and will go on until mid-June. By conducting an additional survey, our researchers want to record current experiences and impressions of NEPS participants in times of the corona crisis and make them available for educational research. The focus is on questions about respondents’ everyday lives: How have you been since the outbreak of the corona pandemic? How has your everyday life changed? What concerns you, what might be positive for you? All the data collected in this way can serve to obtain a differentiated picture of the effects that coronavirus has on the educational biographies of our respondents.

By using the data collected in the National Education Panel Study, researchers have access to internationally unique long-term data that not only enable us to record a snapshot in time during the corona pandemic. As a consequence, the NEPS studies, which are representative of Germany, make an important contribution to understanding this crisis and can be used to strengthen the education system in the long run as well as preparing it for future crises. The effects of the current situation on the digitization of learning, the development of social educational inequality, and the consequences for a wide range of educational outcomes can also be examined with the help of the longitudinal information provided by NEPS.

“We have been monitoring our respondents for many years”, says Prof. Dr. Cordula Artelt, Head of the National Education Panel Study. “By including this additional survey in our ongoing surveys, we can gain important insights into the impact the corona pandemic is having on people’s educational biographies and how it will affect them in the future.”

The recently launched additional surveys cover four major areas of everyday life: current employment status, everyday life and learning, trust in politics and society, as well as health and well-being. On top of this, participants are questioned regarding their expectations for the future and their willingness to take risks as well as about changes in the use of learning opportunities and media at school as well as in private and professional education and training.

As is customary for all surveys carried out as part of the NEPS, the data from the additional corona surveys will be carefully anonymized and made available to educational researchers worldwide by LIfBi. This process usually takes up to 18 months. Given the high interest in representative data on the corona pandemic, the possibility of shortening this process is currently being examined.