fibsInstitute for Education and Socio-Economic Research (FiBS) Germany, is an interdisciplinary research and consulting institute as well as a think tank specialised in the economics of education, labour market, innovation, demography and social policy. FiBS experts use research-based and practice-relevant knowledge and experiences to advise decision-makers in politics, economy and society, as well as educational, research and social institutions.

The research and consulting projects focus on early education and childcare, school and higher education, as well as on vocational and continuing education. Higher education was a major focus of the institute’s work from the very beginning. International and national studies on costs, financing, benefits and cost-benefit analysis, cost-effectiveness analysis, quality, management, benchmarking and best practices form the basis for strategic recommendations, concept development and concrete solutions.

The analyses, evaluations and comparative studies as well as the ideas, effective concepts and concrete recommendations of the institute highlight future prospects, trends and possible strategies for the sustainable development of education and social systems. Quality, equal opportunities and a fair distribution of (education) resources, not to mention the appropriate and rational utilisation of resources, are fundamental aspects of our philosophy.

An interdisciplinary and highly qualified team of research associates and affiliates enables FiBS to execute these projects, by bringing together theoretical and practical competencies at the interface of pedagogy and economics, political and social sciences. FiBS’ clients in Germany are ministries at the federal and state level as well as parliaments, political parties, trade unions, employer associations, foundations, professional bodies, nurseries and kindergartens, schools, universities and other educational and training institutions, companies. FiBS has also works and worked for the European Commission, international banks and organisations, such as the World Bank, the Asian Development Bank, the International Labour Organisation as well as for international development aid organisations.

Working area “Higher Education”

  • In recent years FiBS conducted several studies on the role of higher education (in general as well as in relation to vocational and continuing education), the development of funding volumes and per capita amounts between 2000 and – prospectively – 2025 as well as on developments concerning the governance of higher education in Germany.
  • Furthermore, FiBS has conducted a major and innovative study on governance in higher education, which is the only study reviewing and analysing a broad set of statistical data in relation to various outputs (e.g. student numbers, graduates, PhD-numbers, Third Party funding, gender). It is, so far, the only study that accounts for objective developments, in contrast to studies relying on perceived views on changes and impacts. This project was funded by the Federal Ministry of Education and Research over three years from the end of 2008 till December 2011.

FiBS has also developed its own model (EduSim©) to estimate the development of student enrolments numbers, which provided the most precise estimates over the last decade. In recent years, the model was expanded to vocational education and training and we plan to expand it to school education.