IDEAS home Printed from
MyIDEAS: Log in (now much improved!) to save this paper

Only Successful Graduates Respond to Tracer Studies: A Myth? Results from the German Corporation Project Tracer Studies

Listed author(s):
  • Lutz Heidemann


    (INCHER, Univerity of Kassel)

Registered author(s):

    INCHER-Kassel and 58 German Higher Education Institutions conducted together the biggest tracer studies campaign in Germany so far. Up to date, more than 100.000 graduates of the cohorts 2006 – 2009 were surveyed in the years 2007 – 2011. During this project it was often claimed that graduate tracer studies cannot be representative. This doubt is based on the assumption that only particularly successful or satisfied persons participate in these surveys. This hypothesis will be discussed in the following essay after a introduction in the methodological approach of the Cooperation Project balancing comparability and individuality of the questionnaires. The essay will also explain the network approach of the Cooperation Project "Study Conditions and Professional Success – Cooperation of German Institutions of Higher Education for the Design and Execution of Tracer Studies” (KOAB). The respondents of the cohort 2008 which were surveyed in the fall semester 2009/10 are divided into two groups to test the hypothesis that only particularly successful or satisfied persons participate in these surveys: early respondents and late respondents. The graduates were invited by up to four contacts to participate in the survey. Early respondents participate right after the first contact, while late respondents representing the non-respondents of the first contact. This model refers to the idea of a "continuum of resistance” in survey participation. A comparison shows that there are no fundamental differences between the early respondents and late respondents according to the following indicators: assessment and satisfaction with study programme, study success (final grade), or actual professional situation and satisfaction with current professional situation. Based on these observations, the above mentioned statement that only successful or satisfied persons will participate in graduate tracer studies cannot be confirmed.

    If you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.

    File URL:
    File Function: First version, 2011
    Download Restriction: no

    Paper provided by AlmaLaurea Inter-University Consortium in its series Working Papers with number 13.

    in new window

    Length: 16
    Date of creation: Sep 2011
    Handle: RePEc:laa:wpaper:13
    Contact details of provider: Web page:

    No references listed on IDEAS
    You can help add them by filling out this form.

    This item is not listed on Wikipedia, on a reading list or among the top items on IDEAS.

    When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:laa:wpaper:13. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: ()

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.

    If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link to it, you can help with this form.

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    This information is provided to you by IDEAS at the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis using RePEc data.