New paper in AStA Wirtschafts- und Sozialstatistisches Archiv

Yeonjoo Lee and co-authors analyzed academic success in master programs based on survey data and administrative examination records.

An analysis of academic success in master programs on the basis of survey data and administrative examination records: a comparison of five master programs at the Economic Department of the Freie Universität Berlin

Rendtel, U. ; Lee, Y. ; Gerks H.

Abstract: In a survey among newly enrolled graduate students, we asked about social background, students’ financial situation, and their motivation for choosing their major. By connecting administrative data with our survey data, we can analyze students’ academic performance and overall success in relation to individual characteristics. Through this approach, we avoid common pitfalls of student surveys, such as high non-response rates and recall errors. We use this approach for a comparison of five master programs at the economic department of the Freie Universität Berlin. After the initial survey, the students were followed over the first 6 semesters with respect to the earning of credit points, the finalizing of the master program and the students’ final grades.

In the linked data, we noticed a response bias towards more successful students in the entire cohort. However, this bias can be controlled by using a suitable weight according to the response rate. We compare the master programs in different phases: the starting phase, the reaching of the planned number of semesters to complete the program and the finalizing of the program until the 6th semester. Furthermore we study the impact of the background variables on the final grades. The starting phase reveals clear differences between the master programs. However, if we condition on the study success in the starting period differences vanish in the later phases and for the gained final grade. The impact of the bachelor score on the study performance and the gained final score is surprisingly low. Our results indicate the possibility to predict relatively sure a breaking off of the study on the basis of the gained credit points in the starting phase of the program.


Ulrich Rendtel, Yeonjoo Lee & Harmut Gerks (2023) Eine Analyse des Studienerfolgs im Masterstudium auf der Basis von Umfrage- und administrativen Prüfungsdaten: Ein Vergleich von fünf Masterstudiengängen am Fachbereich Wirtschaftswissenschaft der Freien Universität Berlin, AStA Wirtschafts- und Sozialstatistisches Archiv, DOI: