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Department of Educational Sciences and Psychology
Project duration: since 01.01.2009

NEPS – National Educational Panel Study – Phase 4

The National Education Panel Study analyzes educational processes in Germany. The IFS is responsible for the fourth phase (the transition from lower to upper secondary school) of NEPS.


Forwarding of grants from the Bavarian State Ministry of Education and Culture, Science and the Arts (StMBW) as part of the financing of the project "National Educational Panel Study – NEPS"

Project description

Hellblauer und dunkelblauer Schriftzug des Projektnamens NEPS Nationales Bildungspanel

The aim of NEPS is to collect data on long-term educational processes and skills development across the life span in Germany, and to and study changes across the life span and across cohorts. NEPS collects high quality data from representative samples (starting cohorts) of newborns, preschoolers, school children from the 5th and 9th grades, freshmen students and adults. The collected data is processed in a user-friendly design and made available to the scientific public.

The IFS is responsible for the fourth phase (the transition from lower to upper secondary school) of NEPS. This stage maps the crucial transition from elementary school into the general education system, vocational, or higher secondary schools, or direct entry into the job market.

NEPS plots a life course of eight educational stages, distinguished by their integration into a theoretical framework based select key concepts: (1) skills development throughout life, (2) educational processes in specific learning contexts and environments, (3) social inequality and its effects on an educational career, (4) educational achievement of people with a migration background, and (5) returns to education. Additionally motivational variables and personality characteristics are examined.

These dimensions represent the central pillars of NEPS and are followed in each start cohort throughout the lifespan. NEPS categorizes eight educational stages: Stage 1: birth to early childhood care; Stage 2: kindergarten to elementary school; Stage 3: elementary to lower secondary school; Stage 4: lower to upper secondary school; Stage 5: Upper Secondary School to higher education, vocational training, labor market; Stage 6: vocational training to the labor market; Stage 7: higher education to the labor market; Stage 8: adult education and lifelong learning.

Lead researcher at IFS

Project management

Project team