Project description “Study conditions and professional success”

Necessity of cooperation

The graduate survey is conducted as part of the nationwide "Joint Project on Graduate Studies" (KOAB), coordinated by the Institute for Applied Statistics (ISTAT).

To ensure that the respondents’ contact information and survey data are strictly separated, the addresses are only used by the University of Münster to invite/remind graduates to participate in the survey and are not linked to the graduates’ responses in any way. These are saved on a server operated by ISTAT.

Based on the survey data collected from the graduates of the University of Münster and those of all other participating higher education institutions, the responses are processed and analysed, and the results are forwarded to the universities in a print-ready tabular form. This allows universities to assess the impact of their study conditions on their graduates’ life path and professional success compared with that of other universities on a state- and nationwide basis. The University of Münster also receives anonymised survey data for its own analyses.

Click the following links to learn more about the “Joint Project on Graduate Studies” (KOAB) and the universities which belong to the KOAB Network.

Special circumstances in North Rhine-Westphalia (NRW)

In agreement with the universities of North Rhine-Westphalia, the Ministry of Innovation, Science and Research (MIWF) passed the "Higher Education Contract NRW 2021", which stipulates that all universities in North Rhine-Westphalia shall continue participating in the state-wide graduate survey.

The Higher Education Contract (2015-2016) also included the following agreement (excerpt from § 21 (3)):
“... The MIWF commissions INCHER to conduct a comprehensive, state-wide evaluation for NRW and analysis of higher education policy-relevant meta issues (“NRW Report”). The corresponding analyses are produced for the participating higher education institutions ...
... The MIWF shall receive no access to university-specific data or analyses.”

This KOAB subproject resulted in an extensive, scientific report on the situation of graduates of the class of 2014 from universities in NRW, the results of which can be viewed here. Another such report was also produced for the graduating class of 2011, which can be viewed here.

Another NRW report is being produced based on the graduate survey of the class of 2016.

Procedure for the 2020 graduate survey

Graduates and postdocs of the University of Münster are surveyed one to two years following the final examination of their programmes. For the 2020 graduate survey, this included all former students and doctoral candidates who completed their degrees in 2019, i.e. all those who passed their final examination in the winter semester 2018/19 or summer semester 2019. In November 2020, the graduates and postdocs were contacted for the first time and invited to participate in the survey. Throughout the survey period, the graduates who had not yet completed the survey, were reminded a max. three times to participate. Sending out reminders allows the survey organisers to achieve as a high a response rate as possible so that statistically relevant analyses can be made. Those, who had already participated, were not contacted again.

Graduates of bachelor’s programmes were also invited to participate in the survey. Although many bachelor holders subsequently enrol in a master’s degree programme and therefore cannot say anything about their career entry, they can still share valuable insights into study conditions and the transition from bachelor’s to master’s degree programmes. Their responses are therefore very important for improving the quality of study and teaching at the University of Münster.