Why do Students exceed the Specified Course Duration? Categorization of Causes and Development of a Questionnaire

Symbolic picture for the article. The link opens the image in a large view.

[Gründe für die Überschreitung der Regelstudienzeit aus Studierendensicht]

Mangement: Stephan Kröner
Eva S. Fritzsche, Marcus Penthin
Funding: Own funds


In spite of academic reforms aiming at shorter study periods, there are still students exceeding the specified course duration. Thus, it is of great interest for university managers to know where the causes for exceeding the specified course duration can be found, in order to be able to take appropriate measures. In a first sub-project, reasons for exceeding the standard period of study were identified and systematized in order to develop questionnaires for the collection of relevant causes. For this purpose, reasons for long study times emerging from the literature were systematized and categorized. As a further source for the categorization, qualitative data (N = 565) from a student survey at the FAU were used and its content analyzed. The results of the project may provide starting points for the development of scales for the assessment of causes of exceeded standard periods of study at different levels (i.e. intra-university factors, individual characteristics and initial requirements of students and personal situation of students and contextual factors).


Penthin, M., Fritzsche, E. S., & Kröner, S. (2017). Gründe für die Überschreitung der Regelstudienzeit aus Studierendensicht [Reasons for exceeding the specified course duration from the students’ perspective]. Beiträge zur Hochschulforschung, 39, 8-31. http://www.bzh.bayern.de/uploads/media/2-2017-gesamt.pdf