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Advice is the key when you have doubts about your studies

Study examines the influence of counseling offers on the course of studies

Doubts about studying are not uncommon: 56% of the students surveyed in North Rhine-Westphalia state that they have had experience with doubts about their studies. The reasons for this are varied, as are the ways to deal with it - from changing the subject to finally leaving the university context. Whether the doubters' further professional career will be successful depends not least on the support they experience in the phase of upheaval. But is it really helping young people through advisory services at universities? A study provides information.

Removing the taboo from studying doubts and dropping out of studies and intensifying the advisory services at universities - these were the goals of the project "Next Career", which runs from 2017 to 2020 from Ministry of Culture and Science of the State of North Rhine-Westphalia commissioned and by matrix team was carried out. At the same time are at 20 universities in North Rhine-Westphalia Advice offers specially developed for those who have doubts about their studies and those who drop out, and which are continuously developed. These university projects have worked intensively on Next Career and jointly set and introduced new impulses for addressing and advising target groups through various innovation groups. In addition, the extent of the study doubt as well as the potential impact of advisory services should be examined in the project.

Study doubt

Together with the German Center for University and Science Research (DZHW) and has 20 universities in North Rhine-Westphalia matrix developed a study that has now been published.

Study doubt

3.087 de-registered students of the year 2019 were surveyed - the result:

Over half had to struggle with study doubts in the course of their studies. This is understood to mean the serious consideration of changing the course of study or even abandoning the course entirely. The main reasons for this are performance problems (30%) or a lack of identification with the course (25%). Unfavorable study conditions (13%) such as a lack of practical relevance or unclear requirements can also trigger doubts

The study also shows: Advisory services are very important for academic success and orientation. The vast majority of students take advantage of at least one advisory service at the university in the course of their studies - including students who deal with doubts about their studies. It turns out that doubters with thoughts of breaking off do not necessarily end their studies. Those who have taken advantage of the offers of the student advisory service are more likely to study successfully.

All results of the study can be downloaded here: