Sustainable development in Germany - 17 Goals to Transform our World

Equal educational opportunities – Improving educational success of foreigners in German schools

Indicator 10.1: Foreign school graduates

(Evaluation of the development of Germany in the reporting year 2019 as reporting year from indicator report 2021)

Selection

Select here what should be displayed in the chart and in the table.

This overview includes additional information on the indicators presented above, such as a brief definition of the indicator and a description of the politically determined target value, as well as the political intention for selecting the indicator.

Definition of indicators (Taken from the official translation of the German Sustainable Development Strategy)

The indicator shows the number of foreign school graduates as a proportion of all the foreigners leaving schools in Germany in a particular school year. In this case, the term “graduates” refers to people who leave general-education schools with at least a Hauptschulabschluss, a lower secondary school leaving certificate.

Target and intention of the German Government (Taken from the official translation of the German Sustainable Development Strategy)

The integration of foreigners living in Germany is an important prerequisite for cohesion within our society. A necessary condition for successful integration is the acquisition of sufficient qualifications at school to open up subsequent educational and professional opportunities. The goals of the German Government are therefore to increase the share of foreign school graduates who obtain at least a lower secondary school leaving certificate and bringing it into line with the corresponding rate for German school leavers by 2030.

Data state

The data published in the indicator report 2021 is as of 31.12.2020. The data shown on the DNS-Online-Platform is updated regularly, so that more current data may be available online than published in the indicator report 2021.

Last modification of code (data) 2021-03-08: see changes on GitHub opens in a new window
Last modification of code (text) 2021-09-10: see changes on GitHub opens in a new window

Taken from the official translation of the German Sustainable Development Strategy

The data for this indicator come from the school statistics compiled by the individual Länder. These statistics are generally derived from a full census for which a disclosure obligation applies. The Federal Statistical Office collates them to create a national result on the basis of the catalogue of definitions compiled by the Standing Conference of the Ministers of Education and Cultural Affairs. It is difficult to aggregate the Länder findings into a national whole because of the Länders’ different education policies with regard to, for example, moving between schools or the creation of qualification pathways for vocational schools. Even formal rules for how the disparate elements should be counted can only partially offset this difficulty.

Graduates are former pupils who have left a particular type of school with the relevant school leaving certificate. They include those who have moved to another general-education school to pursue an additional qualification.

Foreigners are defined as all those who are not German under Article 116 (1) of the Basic Law, i.e. who do not possess German citizenship. They include people who are stateless or whose citizenship status is unclear. Germans who also possess citizenship of another country do not count as foreigners.

In 2019, the proportion of all foreign school leavers who obtained at least a lower secondary school leaving certificate was 82.4%. This represents a slight increase compared with the previous year. If one splits the figures by gender, female foreign school leavers graduated at a rate of 85.5%, while the proportion was lower among their male counterparts, at 79.5%. The proportion of German school leavers obtaining at least a lower secondary school leaving certificate has remained fairly stable, most recently recorded as 94.5%.

The gap between the share of foreign and German pupils graduating from school has risen slightly from 11.9 percentage points in 1996 to 12.2 percentage points in 2019. After tending towards convergence until 2013, the figures diverged again until 2017 and have remained almost parallel since.

To break the figures down by types of certificate obtained, 31.0% of foreign pupils who graduated from general schools achieved a lower secondary school leaving certificate in 2019, while 36.8% completed their schooling with an intermediate secondary school leaving certificate and 14.5% gained university-entrance qualifications. Among German school graduates, 15.5% received a lower secondary school leaving certificate, 42.7% gained an intermediate secondary school leaving certificate and 36.8% earned university-entrance qualifications. This leaves young foreigners considerably under-represented in comparison to Germans, especially when it comes to the higher-level school leaving certificates.

This summary table illustrates the evaluations of the indicator by status of previous years. This shows whether the weather symbol for an indicator has been stable or rather volatile in the past years. (Evaluations from the indicator report 2021)

Indicator

10.1 Foreign school graduates

Target

Increase the proportion of foreign school leavers with a least a secondary general school certificate and bring into line with that of German school leavers by 2030

Year

2016

2017

2018

2019

Evaluation Keine Bewertung möglich Keine Bewertung möglich Keine Bewertung möglich Keine Bewertung möglich

 Federal Statistical Office

Organisation

Federal Statistical Office