Who's studying the most (and least) in Germany?

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Who's studying the most (and least) in Germany?
Students in technical subjects worked many more hours a week. Photo: Shutterstock"

The average German student works 32.5 hours a week, according to research published on Tuesday, but there are big differences between different subjects. Which students study the most and least?


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Researchers at the University of Konstanz in Baden-Württemberg asked 5,000 students about their work habits in the most recent edition of their student survey, which has been running since 1982.

The averages between technical colleges and academic universities were around the same, at 31.6 and 30.6 hours respectively, but students in certain subjects had a much bigger workload.

Future electrical engineers, for example, worked more than 41 hours each week – around a third more than their peers.

But even they were outstripped by those studying veterinary medicine, who put in almost 45 hours.

The veterinarians were closely followed by aspiring dentists at 42.5 hours and pharmacists at 39.5.

They were likely among the fifth of students at universities and quarter at technical colleges who wanted more time to complete their degrees.

“It's difficult to get additional qualifications in these subjects that involve a lot of time pressure,” the researchers wrote.

Meanwhile, sociology students came bottom, reporting doing just 22.6 hours of work in the average week.

They were joined at the bottom of the table by art historians and psychology students, both at 25.2 hours weekly.

SEE ALSO: Eight best subjects to study in Germany

Social attitudes

Beyond their hours worked, the researchers also asked about students' social attitudes and plans for the future.

They found that just 24 percent of respondents thought that politics and public life were “very important”, compared with 29 percent who thought they were “unimportant”.

Meanwhile, a huge majority of academic undergraduates, ranging from 75 percent in the arts and social sciences to 91 percent in engineering, were already planning on taking master's degrees.

That represents a big difference from the assumptions that politicians had made about how many people would take postgraduate courses and will have a significant impact on the education budget.

Students' appetite for postgraduate degrees might be in part because so many (41 percent) wanted their courses to be more grounded in practice over theory, or wanted to study in smaller groups (29 percent).

SEE ALSO: Germany ranks third in world university list


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