POWERst ID – The POWERst Survey

As integral part of the POWERst project, the POWERst survey assessed the educational and social background of students to identifies hotspots in study conditions as well as the needs and demands of first-generation students at European universities in order to lay the foundation for improval of support programs for first-generation students.

About the POWERst Survey…

In Europe, data concerning the personal situation of students, including data regarding social and ethnic background is scarce. Many universities, hence, face the challenge of identifying not only the students that belong to underrepresented groups, but also their major struggles, needs and demands, which makes assistance to these at-risk groups arduous.

To tackle this challenge, the POWERst Survey aimed at better identifying the target group and to get a deeper understanding of the different needs and demands of first-generation students. Listening to their voices, the survey aimed at providing the foundation for the improvment of existing support programs and materials as well as the development of tailor-made tools and programs to support first-generation students.

The POWERst Survey was administered during the 2021/2022 academic year in the form of a quantitative online survey of students at all POWERst partner universities. The survey is amongst the most extensive of its kind, using a total of 146 items to investigate students' …  

  • …personal information, especially concerning their social background, 
  • …chosen program and courses, including the reasons behind their choices and their impression of university communication and support received during the studies, 
  • …means to finance their studies (e.g., part-time jobs, involment in scholarship programs, etc.) 
  • …ideas for the improvement of existing structures and material, in order to ensure that all students can thrive in the higher education environment.

In total, 1.815 students of all partner universities participated in the survey, allowing for a comparative analysis to identify the specific characteristics of each institution.

The POWERst survey results have been evaluated by members of the POWERst team at SciencePo Bordeaux and may be explored within their recent publication: 

First-generation Students and the Academia: Results from a Comparative Survey


This image shows Christine  Sälzer

Christine Sälzer

Prof. Dr. phil.

Head of Project

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