In Saxony, the total proportion of the population aged between 25 and 64 who earned at least a Secondary Level II degree (at least the general university entrance qualification / completed vocational training, without a master craftsman’s degree) was 96 %. Germany’s nationwide average amounts to 87 %.

Likewise, Saxony does not need to fear an international comparison. With a value of 96 %, Saxony is ahead of all EU and OECD countries. And it is well above the OECD average of 76 %.

From a structural perspective, there are significantly more persons in Saxony who completed a vocational training than those who earned a university and/or college degree. With 29 % of the population having earned a tertiary level degree, Saxony is slightly above the German average (27 %) and slightly below the OECD average (33 %).

With just 4 %, Saxony exhibits the lowest proportion of persons with little qualifications (Secondary Level I or below).

Chart: Qualification of the workforce - International Comparison

Source: “Education at a Glance 2015: OECD Indicators”, OECD and “Internationale Bildungsindikatoren im Ländervergleich 2015”, German Federal Statistical Office and Statistical Offices of the German Federal States

Chart: Education Monitor 2016

Source: Cologne Institute for Economic Research (IW) / Initiative for a New Social Market Economy (INSM), "Education Monitor 2016"


In 2016 as well, Saxony defended its first place in a comparison of the educational systems of all German federal states – already for the eleventh time in a row now! This was reported by the Education Monitor 2016, a comparative study conducted by the Cologne Institute for Economic Research (IW) on behalf of the Initiative for a New Social Market Economy (INSM).

Saxony scored high points in most of the 12 fields under investigation. Saxony achieved the top position with a total of 69.6 points.

Saxony exhibits specific strong points, for example, in the categories Support Infrastructure, Overall School Quality, Research Orientation (in each instance, 1st place) as well as Avoiding Educational Deprivation and University / MINT  (in each instance, 2nd place).

Thanks to the great progress made in the past couple of years, Saxony has to a large extent contributed to safeguarding a sustainable pool of skilled employees and has, thus, strengthened the growth potentials in Germany. Since 2000, about 62,500 more young academics have left the universities in Saxony with a degree than had been anticipated when considering the graduation rate at that time.

For the upcoming years, the bachelor’s and master’s programs of studies provide particularly superb opportunities of attracting students from abroad and, thus, counteracting the demographic change. Today, 12.5 percent of the students in Saxony are foreign students – in a comparison of all German federal states, this is an excellent score.


The business model Germany is based on high tech branches with strong export activities. That’s why it is so important to train and educate a sufficient number of MINT specialists. Towards this end, Saxony is Germany’s incubator for engineers. This is due to the high proportion of graduates in engineering sciences among all graduates. With 27.2 percent (Germany’s national average: 20.0 percent), Saxony achieves the absolute top value here in a comparison of all federal states. The replacement rate for engineers is also high – in 2013, around 10.8 out of 100 employed engineers who were subject to mandatory social insurance contributions in Saxony were new engineering graduates. The German national average has only a replacement rate amounting to 7.9 percent. With 5.8 percent, the total replacement rate for academics in Saxony exceeds the German national average of 5.2 percent. In addition, an above average number of students are enrolled in dual courses of studies in Saxony.

Source: Education Monitor 2016, by the Cologne Institute for Economic Research (IW) on behalf of the Initiative for a New Social Market Economy (INSM)

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Dr. Peter Homilius
Strategy, Industry Sectors, Marketing
Phone: +49 (351) 2138-201 Fax: +49 (351) 2138-109

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Dieter Faust

Managing Director, AOA Apparatebau Gauting GmbH

"The AOA corporation is part of the large German aviation industry supplier Diehl Aerosystems. It founded a branch office in Dresden in 1991. We greatly appreciate our highly qualified employees as well as our outstanding cooperation with the universities and research institutes in Saxony."

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