Wissenschaft weltoffen 2017
The definition of time spent studying differentiates between the time spent in higher education and the time spent in academic study.
The time in higher education is the time a student has spent at a German higher education institution since first enrolment, regardless of whether the student has changed subject, degree programme and/or higher education institution.
Time spent in academic study is the time which a student actually spends or spent in a certain degree programme up to the final examination (graduation).
Time spent in higher education and time in academic study concur when a degree programme is completed without change of subject or other interruptions, such as a leave of absence. After a change of subject, the time in higher education is generally greater than the time in academic study. Among German students and with very few exceptions, the time in higher education is essentially equal to or greater than the time in academic study. Among foreign students or graduates, the time in academic study exceeds the time in higher education when academic achievements gained at foreign higher education institutions are recognised by the German higher education institution in the form of full study semesters respectively when these are "credited".
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