Future and career plans before high school graduation (ZuBAb study)


Aim of the project

The study “Future and Career plans before high school graduation” (Zukunfts- und Berufspläne vor dem Abitur (ZuBAb)) aims to capture the post-school future plans of today's high school students. How can the realization of these plans be supported? A panel survey (four waves in three years) assesses the respondents' plans, the modification of these plans and their educational trajectories. Additionally, the impact of the Talentscouting NRW advisory service, which is offered to some of the schools participating in the ZuBAb study, will be investigated.

Main content


The talent scouting program

Talent scouting is an intensive and long-term counselling program for high school students with the goal to reduce social inequality in the realization of educational aspirations. It is funded by the Ministry of Culture and Science of North Rhine-Westphalia. 14 universities in NRW currently send trained consultants ("talent scouts") to over 100 grammar schools, vocational colleges and comprehensive schools. They support students, ideally without an academic background, on their way to university in individual and open-ended counseling sessions. If necessary, external experts are consulted, special competence enhancement courses or detailed information on options for finacial aid (for college) and applying for a place at universities are offered.


On the one hand, the research project examines which factors influence the educational decisions of high school students (e.g. socio-emotional components; cost, benefit, success considerations; neighbourhood effects). On the other hand, the impact of participation in Talent Scouting NRW on the educational trajectories of the participating students (e.g. start of studies, performance, self-efficacy expectations, cost, benefit and success assessments of a course of study) is analyzed.

Research fields

Education and Training
Project Management
Prof. Dr. Marita Jacob (Universtät zu Köln)
2016 - 2020
Ministerium für Kultur und Wissenschaft Nordrhein-Westfalen

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Site structure

Research Unit Migration, Integration, Transnationalization


Research Group Health and Social Inequality


President's Research Group

Site structure

President's Research Group

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