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FAQ - Graduating Class of 2017 Survey

There are many good reasons to participate in the project. Filling out the questionnaire offers you an opportunity to reflect on your own individual experiences as a student. When you participate, you are also making an important contribution to improving the following:

  • the study programs offered and the study conditions,
  • the university’s advising and service institutions,
  • the study program’s focus on practical aspects and professional careers.

Subsequent generations of students will benefit from these improvements.

Participating is also one way to keep in touch with Freie Universität Berlin. You can further intensify the relationship by making contact with the alumni network.

The survey is aimed exclusively at graduates in the class of 2017 at Freie Universität Berlin, including those who finished their doctorates at the university in 2017. This means everyone who passed a final exam in the 2016/2017 winter semester or the 2017 summer semester. If you received your degree from Freie Universität Berlin during this period, but have not received a written invitation to participate by the end of October 2017, please contact the project team.

Under the auspices of ISTAT (former INCHER Kassel), more than 60 German higher education institutions have been participating in a project titled “Analysis of the Effects of Higher Education Study Program Offerings and Conditions in Germany via Graduate Surveys,” which is funded by the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF), for several years. As part of this project, ISTAT uses the data supplied by graduates of Freie Universität Berlin and by all other participating higher education institutions to create an anonymous “scientific use file.” This makes it possible to perform a detailed analysis of how higher education study program conditions and offerings affect graduates’ future activities and professional success, broken down across different institutions.

If you are an eligible graduate and have an access code, you can access the online survey via the link send to you per mail.

When you enter the page, you will be asked to enter your personal access code (PIN) in the appropriate field. This PIN is also in enclosed in the letter send to you. Please be sure to pay attention to capitalization of letters.

All data that the survey subject enters in the online questionnaire are always encrypted during transmission. We use a certificate from the company Thawte for transmission encryption. If you are asked during the process of accessing the survey whether you wish to trust the certificate, please click “yes” or “download.” Your browser will then recognize the certificate the next time you access the page. If this does not happen automatically, you need to access your browser’s security settings to confirm the certificate individually. The survey cannot be filled out without your consent to this procedure.

The randomly generated personal access code (PIN) that has been or will be sent to you by mail has two functions:

1. It is not possible to participate in the survey without an access code. This ensures that the survey can only be filled out by people who are part of the correct group. Each PIN is only assigned one time, and authorizes the holder to fill out the survey in full one time. During the survey period, you can use the same PIN to re-access the survey at any time and continue from where you left off as long as you have not completed the survey on a final basis. It is not possible to draw any conclusions whatsoever regarding individuals via the access code.

2. As part of the study of graduates, there are plans to conduct a follow-up survey in about three or four years, since the circumstances surrounding graduates’ entry into the workforce and their professional development may vary widely. To conduct this kind of follow-up survey, it is necessary to link the survey data from the first wave of surveys with the data collected later on. This will only take place if you agree to participate in the follow-up survey on the last pages of the survey. If you do so, and only if you do so, we will store your address together with the access code, but not together with your answers on the survey.

There is absolutely no connection between the personal data and the items of the inquiry traceable. Even the token does not allow any references to the answers in the questionnaire. All results of the inquiry will be published in aggregate forms, therefore conclusions to individual persons will not be possible.

Graduates are invited to participate in the survey in a letter sent by mail. To do this, we need your current address. The addresses of graduates at the time of conclusion of their study programs were stored electronically at Freie Universität Berlin based on section 6 of the Higher Education Act for the State of Berlin (BerlHG) and the Ordinance on Student Data (StudDatVO) of the Senate Department of Science, Research and Culture (Senatsverwaltung für Wissenschaft, Forschung und Kultur).

At the end of the survey, graduates have the option to agree to participate in a follow-up survey regarding their further professional development in about 3 or 4 years. The addresses of the graduates who agree to do so are stored at Freie Universität Berlin. All other address data are deleted from the address list of the project.

The results of the survey of graduates go into the quality development process regarding studying and teaching activities at Freie Universität Berlin. In addition, the survey data supplied by Freie Universität graduates are analyzed together with the survey data from other higher education institutions in Germany that have participated in the project titled “Analysis of the Effects of Higher Education Study Program Offerings and Conditions in Germany via Graduate Surveys” by ISTAT and published in aggregated form in a research report.

The final reports on the survey, including the results of Freie Universität Berlin, will be published on this website. The reports are available to download here.

You are welcome to contact the project team by e-mail for any further questions or comments you may have. (absolventenstudie@fu-berlin.de)