According to Deutsches Zentrum für Hochschul- und Wissenschaftsforschung DZHW (German centre for research on higher education and science studies), the dropout rate among bachelor students is 28%. Rates tend to be higher in technical, mathematical and natural science subjects. The DZHW does not provide absolute figures. The nationwide number of university dropouts is estimated at 100 000 per year.
Are all of them underachievers? Not at all. More and more companies compete for these ex-students. ‘University dropouts are an important target group and their numbers are considerable’, says Vera Demary, project manager at Kompetenzzentrum für Fachkräftesicherung KOFA (Competence centre for safeguarding skilled labour supply) at the Cologne institute for economic research.
KOFA has identified university dropouts as its special focus for the current funding period. According to Demary, so far only individual companies and model projects focus on this particular target group.
Further, Germany’s education minister Johanna Wanka announced an initiative aimed at winning over university dropouts for occupational careers in crafts.