Study Enrolment of High School Graduates with a Migration Background

Initial setting
Education is crucial for the structural integration of migrants and their descendants. While there are numerous findings on the extent and explanation of migration-related inequalities at low and middle educational thresholds, there are only a few studies on the situation of students with a migration background, although they now make up about one fifth of the student body in Germany.


Firstly, the project is dedicated to the process of taking up a course of study. In addition to the decision between post-secondary education alternatives, the specific study decision (choice of type of higher education institution and subject) will be examined in a differentiated manner. Secondly, based on the results, a follow-up project on migration-related inequalities in the course of studies will be initiated.


The NEPS cohorts 4 and 5 will be used as the data basis. First, migration-related inequalities, i.e. inequalities according to migration background under control of socio-economic origin, will be described for study-related decisions and transitions (taking up studies, choice of type of higher education institution, choice of subject group). The next step is to determine the extent to which individual processes and mechanisms contribute to the observed inequalities. Various approaches are used to explain the inequalities: First, migration-related approaches are used, which have proven to be relevant in lower and middle levels of education (e.g. embeddedness in ethnic networks) and which should influence the study decision and its realisation (e.g. cost-benefit considerations). Secondly, to explain migration-specific study trajectories, the models of migration-specific educational decisions will be related to factors that are relevant for success and retention in the higher education system. The planned project thus makes a systematic contribution to model building.


Project duration
December 2020 - August 2022