Higher Education and Demographic Challenge : The German case
higher education development
German higher education
It is a well known fact that the majority of European societies are confronted with demographic changes due to declining birthrates. This article tries to broach the issue how lower birth rates and changing demographic structures affect German higher education. While the results are already visible in the German schooling system, effects on higher education have not yet become reality but are expected within the near future. As student enrollment numbers are currently rising, there does not seem to be any pressure to address this issue. However, it is already certain that higher education in Germany will be confronted by declining student enrollment beginning at the latest in 2020. Given these facts it is worth to asking if declining student numbers and a rising educational demand of older persons will change higher education and how should higher education policy respond by strategies and new educational offers. As demographic changes and higher education development correlate in a complex manner there will be the need to consider other influencing factors, particularly the demand for labor force, regional developments, migration and internationalization.
Higher Education Forum
Research Institute for Higher Education, Hiroshima University