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Every fifth employee in Hamburg is an academic, says Hamburg Institute of International Economics

More and more new students coming from outside Hamburg to study in city, latest study for Haspa finds

Every fifth employee in Hamburg is an academic, according to a study conducted by the Hamburg Institute of International Economics on behalf of the Hamburger Sparkasse (Haspa) and published on August 24th. “The economy in the Free and Hanseatic City of Hamburg is marked by knowledge-intense, high-tech industries and services”, a statement said. Therefore, Hamburg needs a qualified and well-trained labour force. The city is gaining supra-regional importance as a location of universities and colleges and private colleges are becoming increasingly popular among new students.

“No shortage of academic experts expected”

One fifth of employees in Hamburg has an academic qualification, the study found. The share of pensioners and the non-working population with academic qualifications brings this share to around two-fifths. The number of academics in proportion to the entire population has risen from 25 per cent in 2000 to around 43 per cent in 2014. The share of academics in the 25-30 age group is higher than in older age groups. Some 62.5 per cent of school pupils in Hamburg obtained a university entrance qualification in 2015 putting Hamburg in second place across Germany. Thus, a shortage of academic experts is not expected for Hamburg’s labour market, said HWWI.

Growing share of graduates from private colleges

Hamburg is also gaining important as a supra-regional place of study. At present, every fourth new student has an Abitur or school-leaving certificate, which was not obtained in Hamburg. During the last decade, the share of new students in Hamburg who attended schools in the city was clearly higher at 60 per cent. The share of graduates increased 87 per cent to nearly 15,500 in 2014 over 2005. The share of graduates from private colleges grew from 5 per cent to 13 per cent in the same period. Hamburg’s private colleges include e.g. HFH Hamburger Fern-Hochschule (the distance university of applied sciences) with over 9,000 students and the Bucerius Law School – Germany’s first private college for law, which grants doctoral (Dr. iur.) and habilitation titles.

Expenditure on education pays off in the long-term

Expenditure on education accounted for 16 per cent of the total spending putting Hamburg in the upper mid-range across Germany in 2014, said HWWI. Thus spending on education benefits the city as graduates have higher incomes resulting in more tax revenue and social insurance contributions. The comparatively high costs of university and college education pay off in the long term. However, in the first 15 years of employment, an academic qualification used in an office or in sales is not as valuable as a secondary education for the state, according to HWWI.

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