the Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung questioned the difficulty of certain topics for students and wanted to know if stereotypes about the difficulty of science topics and the relative ease of literature topics were true. According to Sören Isleib, a research fellow at the German Center for Higher Educational Research and Scientific Studies (DZHW), which specializes in the reasons for dropping out of university, “The dropout rate for bachelor’s degrees is almost 30% on average. In law and medicine, dropout rates are relatively low, even if these courses are often considered difficult. This is in part due to the fact that the numerus clausus is usually very high, that a relatively large number of students come from university families, that the profession is well known and that there are good career prospects. .
Engineering: high pressure
Annabelle Bruns, 24, holds a master’s degree in environmental engineering at the Polytechnic University of Rhineland-Westphalia in Aachen. After graduating from high school in 2015, he trained as a ranger in South Africa, before returning to Freiburg for a bachelor’s degree in environmental science in 2016. “The course has no more difficult entry requirements and, in hindsight, is less stressful than the engineering course in Aachen, where I am now doing my master’s”, remembered the young woman. In addition, in his current course, the pressure is even stronger:
“Test failure rates are usually so high that grades are raised afterwards. Even though I didn’t have good impressions after the exam, I actually passed the grades well. It’s still depressing.”
Pharmacy: lots of stress and little free time
Rümeysa Demir, 22, has dreamed of becoming a pharmacist since her childhood. He is in his third year of pharmacy at Goethe University in Frankfurt. “Pharmacy studies are extremely academic, and we have almost no options – especially not in the core course, that is during the first four semesters before the first state exam,” regretted the student. He also pointed out that internships have almost no free time and that exams follow each other.
“The pressure around the show is very high in the pharmacy. We always prove that we belong here. It takes a lot of perseverance and discipline. As a result, many students do not finish their studies within the normal time. ”
Computer science: a theoretical course and good opportunities
Like Rümeysa Demir, Gerrit Schulze-Frerichs studied at Goethe University in Frankfurt. At 31, and after becoming a physics teacher, he reformed himself and is now in his fourth year of computer science.
“Like physics, university computer science is more theoretical and mathematical. This will shock more than one. There are modules where I don’t touch a computer, but where it’s logical and abstract thinking. Programming experience helped my study, but not necessarily. I think there is a lot of practice in technical universities. ”
Gerrit Schulze-Frerichs knows he has good job market opportunities once he graduates, but he is pursuing an academic career and is currently working as a professor at his university.
Freedom of anthropology versus economic integrity
Laura Stitzl, 21, decided to take a double course, in cultural anthropology and ethnology, on the one hand, and economics on the other, at Goethe University in Frankfurt. “After high school in 2019, I didn’t know exactly what I wanted to study, so I decided to focus on the first of my interests: culture. […] In the first few semesters, I realized I had something missing ”, he said.
She points out that in her social studies classes, the requirements are not very high and she has to rely on her own motivation to read. It provides speed and freedom, but doesn’t push students to tackle topics they can’t get to. “Economically, it’s the exact opposite. The pressure around the grades was high, which meant I always stayed in the program. At the same time, I prefer to study for the exam rather than think and work independently and scientifically.