National Educational Panel Study (Germany)
In modern knowledge societies, education has become the key factor not only for economic growth and prosperity but also for a successful private life. The National Educational Panel Study (NEPS) has been set up to find out more about how education is acquired, to see how it impacts on individual biographies, and to describe and analyze the major educational processes and trajectories across the life span. Some of the questions it is designed to address are: How do competencies develop over the life course? How do competencies influence or not influence decision-making processes at various critical transitions during an educational career? How and how far are competencies influenced by the opportunities to learn in the family or in the peer group? How are they influenced by the structure of teaching and learning processes in Kindergarten, school, university, vocational training, and further training? Another crucial issue is to find out which competencies are decisive for attaining educational certificates, which are decisive for life-long learning, and which are decisive for a successful individual and social life. To answer such questions, it is necessary to assess how competencies develop not only in Kindergarten or in the general school system but also in vocational training, higher education, and after leaving the education system. A consortium of researchers supported by the Federal Ministry of Education and Research in Germany (BMBF) has gathered under the leadership of Prof. Blossfeld to pursue these goals in a longitudinal survey entitled the National Educational Panel Study (NEPS). As of January 1, 2014, the National Educational Panel Study (NEPS), which has been previously carried out as a research project by the University of Bamberg, will be continued as part of the Leibniz Institute for Educational Trajectories (Leibniz-Institut für Bildungsverläufe e.V., LIfBi). Both at once, LIfBi will become an independent research institution affiliated with the University of Bamberg and a member of the Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz Scientific Association (Wissenschaftsgemeinschaft Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz e.V., WGL).