EUROSTUDENT uses the highest educational degree attained by either of students’ parents, as reported by the students, to classify students according to their educational background. The parents of higher education students vary greatly regarding their education across countries: between one and three quarters of students have parents without tertiary degrees.
Data further show students with parents without tertiary degrees to be underrepresented in almost all EUROSTUDENT countries. The study and living conditions of students without higher education background also differ from those of their peers in several respects. Students without higher education background have more often accessed higher education via an alternative route and with a delay. As a result, they are on average 1.7 years older than their peers. Students without higher education background are more likely to be studying at non-universities and in the majority of countries, the highest shares of students can be found, where they exist, in short-cycle programmes, or in Bachelor programmes.
Financial status of students’ parents
Students rated the financial well-being of their parents on a 5-point scale ranging from “not at all well-off” to “very well-off”. On average, every fifth student in the EUROSTUDENT countries rates their parents to be not (at all/very) well-off. Data further show parental financial status to be related to parents’ educational attainment. The share of students indicating that their parents are not at all or not very well-off is on average 15 percentage points higher among students without higher education background, while the share of students finding their parents to be somewhat or very well-off is 22 percentage points lower.
This is reflected in students’ dependency on income sources: in most countries, the largest share of students without higher education background is dependent either on public support or on self-earned income (in contrast to family contributions). Higher shares of these students work for at least 20 hours per week and accordingly, in the majority of countries, the share of students without higher education background is higher among low-intensity students.
More detailed EUROSTUDENT VI results and analyses can be found in:
- EUROSTUDENT VI Synopsis of Indicators
- EUROSTUDENT VI Overview and selected findings
- EUROSTUDENT Database