Nowhere else are there so many well-qualified as in Saxony and Thuringia: 95 or 96 percent of 25- to 64-year-olds have at least a university entrance qualification or a completed vocational training. The two countries are thus well above the national average of 87 percent.
This is the conclusion of the report "International Indicators of Country Comparison 2019", which was presented on Wednesday by the statistical offices of the Federation and the Länder.
Overall, therefore, all eastern states are above the nationwide average. In West Germany, fewer people have a medium or high qualification: in Bremen about 81 percent, in Schleswig-Holstein 87 percent. Bayern scored 89 percent, the highest rate in the West German comparison.
The evaluation published Wednesday is about educational indicators that had already been presented by the OECD on an international level on Tuesday (information on the OECD study "Education at a Glance" can be found here). The new data now allow a direct comparison of the federal states with each other.
In doing so, the statisticians focus on high-quality education, the so-called tertiary area - which means university degrees. It was also examined how many people in a federal state have achieved which level of education. "In doing so, we are making education between the federal states comparable, but also in terms of the international status quo," says Georg Thiel, President of the Federal Statistical Office.
Older East Germans better qualified
A closer look at East Germany clearly differentiates the education level depending on the age: the older population is more highly qualified than the younger one. While almost all of the 55 to 64 year olds in some countries have a medium or high qualification, 25 to 34 year olds have between 87 and 92 percent.
In eastern countries, comparatively many of today's older students have acquired high-quality educational qualifications, for example in the specialist education system of the GDR, the study authors explain the difference.
Saxony is regularly ahead
Saxony is regularly ahead in other education comparisons. The country scored the highest points on average in this year's "Bildungsmonitor", which was close to the job market - by far ahead of second-placed Bayern. Berlin, Brandenburg, Bremen and North Rhine-Westphalia are close to each other at the end.
Also, the report presented on Wednesday shows: Overall, more and more students enroll at the universities. Six out of ten people in each age group took up higher education or similar vocational training in 2017, such as a master class.
Since 2006, this rate has increased nationwide from 43 percent to 60 percent. However, the beginner quotas differ considerably from one federal state to another: While 92 percent of students enrolled in a university in Berlin, in Schleswig-Holstein there were just 39 percent.
The proportion of the well-qualified depends strongly on the number of students - and in turn on the number of higher education institutions per federal state and how popular these colleges are among first-year students and visiting students. "So while Berlin or the state of Saxony benefits from high proportions of new students from other federal states as well as from abroad, Schleswig-Holstein, for example, is losing new students to other federal states on balance," said Georg Thiel.
Mixed certificate for Germany
In an international comparison, the OECD had recently issued a mixed testimony to Germany: Although teacher salaries are high in comparison to other OECD countries, per capita capital expenditures underdeveloped in basic education services for students.
And there are also marked differences between the sexes when it comes to paying workers. According to this study, a female graduate earns just 72 percent of the average salary of a male university graduate. This number is below the OECD average of 77 percent.