Share of People With a Tertiary Education in Germany Lower Compared to EU Average in a Decade

Germany Europe Higher Education News Statistics by Erudera News Jan 26, 2023

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The percentage of professionals aged 25-34 years with a tertiary education level in Germany was 35.7 percent compared to an EU average of 41.2 percent from 2011 to 2021, a study by the German Economic Institute (IW), a private research institute in Germany, has found.

However, IW said that results should be seen against the background of Germany’s vocational and training position in international comparison, reports.

“If one looks at the persons with tertiary and secondary vocational education and training at the age of 25 to 34 years together, one arrives at a significantly higher share for Germany with 77.0 percent than for the EU as a whole with 73.4 percent,” IW said, pointing out that the figure for people aged 55-64 was 82.8 percent in Germany, much higher compared to the rest of EU where the figure stood at 63.1 percent.

The report “Educational attainment of the population in a European comparison” shows that the share of EU workers between the ages of 25 and 64 without a higher education degree or a vocational qualification dropped from 27 percent in 2011 to 20.7 percent in 2021. According to IW, this drop was related to positive developments across Southern Europe.

Differently, in Germany alone, the share of persons without vocational or higher education increased from 13.4 percent to 15.2 percent in the years 2011 and 2021.

“The reasons for this unfavourable development lie not only in the German education system, but also in migration. In 2021, immigrants between the ages of 25 and 34 were far more likely to be low-skilled, with a share of 29.9 per cent, than those born in Germany, with 10.0 per cent,” the report states, adding that figures are similar for most other northern, western and southern European countries.

The same further notes that Germany should work towards strengthening employment and education immigration in order to control the qualification level of immigrants and also to provide opportunities for people to receive qualifications soon after they arrive in the country.

There are more than 400,000 international students in Germany, an increase of 38 percent from 2014 to 2021. Most students in Germany are originally from China and India, 40,122 and 28,542, respectively.

Figures released by the Federal Statistical Office (Destatis) showed that more women started academic careers in 2021 than men, accounting for 52 percent of new entrants. The same indicated that women at German universities held 27 percent of professorships as their main job in 2021.

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