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Main release of the Scientific Use File of the NEPS Starting Cohort 6 – Adult Education and Lifelong Learning

We are pleased to announce the first main release of data from the NEPS Starting Cohort 6 “Adult Education and Lifelong Learning”. Starting Cohort 6 comprises a representative sample of the adult working age population in Germany. Within this study, life course data on education and occupation as well as on competence acquisition are collected. These data cover the entire spectrum of educational activities and learning processes (formal, non-formal, and informal), decisions resulting in their participation, and the previous life course of the interviewees (especially the course of education and occupation, regional mobility, relationships, and children).

The scientific use file, release SC6 1.0.0, contains longitudinal data on a sample of 11,649 individuals who participated in the NEPS survey conducted in 2009/2010. Data from a forerunner study (“Working and Learning in a Changing World”, ALWA) collected in 2007/2008 have been integrated into the scientific use file. As a result, two waves of panel data are available for a substantial fraction of the sample.

The data comprise detailed and complete life-course information in long-format spell data on schooling, vocational preparation, vocational training, military service, employment, unemployment, parental leaves, and further education as well as partnership and child histories. Furthermore, panel data on adult education, learning environments, decision-making processes, subjective well-being, and health are included. As an additional service, we provide a variety of generated datasets designed to support researchers in preparing and analyzing the data.

Please note that the quality and usability of the data from this release was significantly improved compared to the beta version released in August. A detailed list of changes is available on our website:

On these pages, you will also find additional information on the studies, sampling strategies, and survey instruments.

Data Access

Obtaining the data is easy. Sign the data use agreement and mail it to the NEPS User Service. Detailed instructions are available on our web portal:

We offer three modes of data access:
  • Download via our web portal
  • Remote access via RemoteNEPS
  • On-site access at the premises of the NEPS in Bamberg

These modes differ with respect to the degree of data sensitivity. Details on the access modes can be found here:

For any further questions, please contact the NEPS Data Center
Tel: +49-(0)951-863-3511, E-Mail: userservice.neps(at)

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