Making a decision for an engineering subject - How do (female) students decide for technical universities and what keeps them there?

Susanne Ihsen, Dominik Baldin, Sabrina Gebauer

Research output: Contribution to conferencePaperpeer-review


The percentage of female students starting in engineering study programs in Germany is still far below fifty percent. Furthermore there are several undergraduate students leaving their study after only a few semesters without any degree. The recruitment of more women for technical sciences and the rise of engineering students in general is the prior goal of a lot of activities [1-2]. Even technical universities with high-level study programmes do not have specific offers which would differ from other universities. Here we will present final results from the project "Spurensuche!" ("Seeking Traces!"), funded by the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research and the European Social Funds, which was conducted at the Technische Universität München in 2008 and 2009. These findings show the need for an integration of gender and diversity aspects into engineering education but especially in the technical universities and their marketing and motivation programmes. It was aimed to find out the processes in which students choose their engineering subject as well as their first experiences once they have started to study their subject. The project scrutinizes the four subjects physics, computer sciences, mechanical engineering and electrical engineering at the German association of nine large technical universities, the TU91. A new question is examined in this study: what influence do promotion events have on the decision before the start of the matriculation? We also aimed to highlight the processes in which students choose their engineering/sciences subject and their university. Furthermore, we asked for the first experiences once the students have started to study and what effects the newly introduced bachelor programs have on the students. We monitored whether there were significant differences between female and male students in these processes. By that, the project hints at improving study programs and at developing effective measures to attract more women students.

Original languageEnglish
StatePublished - 2010
EventJoint International IGIP-SEFI Annual Conference 2010 - Trnava, Slovakia
Duration: 19 Sep 201022 Sep 2010


ConferenceJoint International IGIP-SEFI Annual Conference 2010


  • Gender and diversity
  • Student analysis
  • Study choice
  • Technical university


Dive into the research topics of 'Making a decision for an engineering subject - How do (female) students decide for technical universities and what keeps them there?'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this