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National Educational Panel Study: Competency Development over the Lifespan

With the "National Educational Panel Study" (NEPS), which officially started in October 2008, the competencies of people from different age groups shall be investigated longitudinally over their life span. The examined age groups of the study range from kindergarten to older adults. The study, which is also referred to as the "National Educational Panel Study", will be conducted by the Institute for Longitudinal Educational Research (INBIL) at the University of Bamberg on behalf of the Federal Ministry of Education and Research. The IPN is a member of the study's consortium and is responsible for the research area competency development over the life span.

The Educational Panel is divided into five research areas (pillars) and seven age groups (stages, see the figure). The research areas are:

  1. competency development over the life span,
  2. educational processes in learning environments,
  3. social inequality and educational decisions over the life span,
  4. education acquisition with migration background over the life span and
  5. returns to education over the life span.


The age groups cover the life span from kindergarten to school, further training and university, up to mature adulthood.


The aim of the research area "competency development" is to develop competency models and test instruments for the longitudinal investigation of competency over the life span. The team at the IPN is responsible for the areas Mathematics, Sciences and Computer Literacy.

With the aid of the Educational Panel, representative data should be gained for all relevant areas of the German educational system which can then be used to work on various problems of empirical educational research. The plan is to provide the results and the data of the study as "scientific use files" for scientific research purposes.

The following persons at the IPN are involved in the study:

Prof. Dr. Olaf Köller (member of the consortium, Sciences)
Dr. Martin Senkbeil (member of the consortium, Computer Literacy)

Meike Classe (Computer Literacy)
Anna-Lena Gerken (Mathematics)
Dr. Inga Hahn (Sciences)
Ann-Katrin van den Ham (Mathematics)
Linda Haschke (Sciences)

Prof. Dr. Aiso Heinze (Mathematics)
Dr. Jan Marten Ihme (Computer Literacy)
Insa Schnittjer (Mathematics)
Helene Wagner (Sciences)