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FAQ, Survey of Former Students

This section contains answers to frequently asked questions regarding the survey. If this section does not fully answer your questions, please contact Arbeitsstelle Lehr- und Studienqualität (LSQ) via email at lsq@fu-berlin.de or by phone at +49 30 838-57562.

The survey of former students (withdrawal / change of program before completion) will start on November 28, 2014, and the survey is scheduled to be online until February 15, 2015.

In the future, surveys of former students (withdrawal / change of program before completion) will be performed every four years at Freie Universität Berlin.

The survey is aimed at all students of Freie Universität Berlin who changed their subject or withdrew from bachelor’s degree programs and consecutive master’s degree programs (including those toward a teaching credential) as well as from the study programs toward the State Exam in law, veterinary medicine, and pharmacy between the 2012 summer semester and the 2013/2014 winter semester.

At the start of the evaluation period, all students in the target group described above will receive a letter from the Vice President of Freie Universität Berlin. This letter will contain a link to the evaluation portal and a token (access code). Participation in the survey will take place exclusively online.

By participating in this survey, you can use the opportunity to provide Freie Universität Berlin with feedback on your reasons for withdrawing from your studies or changing study programs. The factors involved in your decision not to pursue your study program as well as your attitude toward the program and any difficulties you experienced during the program represent a valuable source of insight for Freie Universität Berlin as the university strives to improve study conditions and to further develop its advising and service options.


As our way of thanking you for participating in the survey, Arbeitsstelle Lehr- und Studienqualität (LSQ) will be raffling off four tablet PCs among all survey participants. After you submit the survey, you will be given an option to take part in the raffle by entering an email address where we can contact you if you are among the winners. The email address is stored without any reference to your survey data, of course. The incentives are raffled off at the end of the survey period, with the raffle performed at random by the software. Winners will be contacted by early April, 2015.

Participation in the survey is voluntary. Answering individual questions is also voluntary. If you cannot or do not wish to answer a specific question, you can generally skip that question and go to the next one without any problems. This does not apply to “filter” questions, which lead to different follow-up questions depending on the response. These kinds of questions must be answered in order to enable correct forwarding within the survey.

Please note that especially with regard to personal information, we are not interested in individual responses, but instead are striving to obtain overall results that are as representative as possible. Every question you answer helps us review how representative the results are.

The amount of time spent on the survey varies by individual. It depends both on the filter navigation within the survey – meaning which of the survey questions apply to you – and, of course, on how long you take to answer the individual questions. During pretests of the survey, students took about 15 to 20 minutes to fill out the survey.

You can interrupt your entries at any time and continue later. As long as you have not completed the survey on a final basis you can log in and continue with your Token. You will be taken back to the page of the survey where you left off.

Please note: Isolated technical difficulties have occurred in the past when users have interrupted the survey. As a result, we ask that you please refrain from interrupting the survey if at all possible. If you experience technical difficulties, please contact Arbeitsstelle Lehr- und Studienqualität by email at lsq@fu-berlin.de.

A token is a personal access code for the survey. It prevents the survey from being filled out by third parties or multiple times. The token becomes invalid once it is used. It is not possible to use the token to make inferences regarding information provided in the survey. The used token is not stored by the software.

The survey includes questions on the following subjects:

  • Information on the student and study program
  • Preconditions for studies: reasons for choosing the study program, information, educational path
  • Study behavior and study experiences
  • Social environment within the study program
  • Instructor-student relations
  • Difficulties with studying
  • Academic achievements and grades
  • Participation in a mentoring program
  • Life situation during your studies
  • Reasons for withdrawal / dropout
  • Current activities and future plans

In addition, the survey also includes open-ended questions at points in order to give survey participants a chance to provide information beyond the standardized response options or to comment further on aspects such as their need for support.

The content of the survey was coordinated with the university management, the departments and central institutes, and the bodies representing the interests of various groups at Freie Universität Berlin (staff council for the entire university, chief gender equality officer, data protection officer).

The results of the university-wide overall report will be presented to university committees and boards by employees of Arbeitsstelle Lehr- und Studienqualität (LSQ) during the 2015/2016 winter semester. Subject-specific analyses will be transmitted to the departments and central institutes in the 2015/2016 winter semester. The results are to be interpreted at the subject level as part of discussion rounds with students and instructors, with measures to improve the study situation being identified based on the results.

The aim of this survey is to obtain as detailed a picture as possible of the reasons why students withdraw or change study programs in the various study programs, including the students’ study and personal life situations that have led up to this decision.

Arbeitsstelle Lehr- und Studienqualität (LSQ) prepares an anonymized, aggregated, university-wide overall report on the results. This report is scheduled for publication on the website of the survey of former students at www.fu-berlin.de/universitaet/entwicklung/qualitaetsmanagement/zentrale_evaluationen/exmatrikuliertenbefragung/index.html at the end of the 2015 summer semester. In addition, all stakeholder groups that are involved in tasks related to quality development are provided with results in appropriate forms. If the response to the survey is sufficient, the departments receive analyses summarizing the results for individual study programs and/or departments in anonymized form. In addition, analyses of specific further issues are possible upon request.

For detailed information, click here.

The evaluation is performed by Arbeitsstelle Lehr- und Studienqualität on behalf of the university management.

If you have questions, please contact the employees of Arbeitsstelle Lehr- und Studienqualität (LSQ) by email at lsq@fu-berlin.de or phone at +49 30 838-57562.

Dr. Irmela Blüthmann

Ann Kathrin Nitschke