Where to Study?

(c) dpa - Report Enlarge image University of Göttingen (© dpa - Report) Göttingen, Heidelberg, Marburg, Tübingen: these classic college towns, or Universitätsstädte, are renowned throughout the world for the academic excellence of their respective universities—reputations earned over many centuries. To this day, they attract thousands of undergraduate and graduate students, from throughout Germany and abroad.

But Germany’s higher education landscape today is incredibly vast, with approximately 15,000 courses of study at 400 institutions of higher learning both big and small, public and private, research or trade-oriented, all across the country. How do you even begin to make a decision about where to study? Fortunately, there are a number of online tools—in English—to help you decide.

To get an overview of the geography of German universities—literally, the higher education landscape—visit the helpful guide to the 67 most popular college towns for foreign students on the Study in Germany website. Many of these “college towns,” of course, are actually major cities—like Berlin, Hamburg, and Munich.

City Portraits (Study in Germany)

While most major universities in Germany are state-funded, in recent years a growing number of private colleges and universities have emerged, many of them international in focus. It’s important to keep in mind that the German educational system as a whole, including higher education, is significantly different from the US. For a guide to the German university system, visit the DAAD webpage Finding the Right University.

Finding the Right University (DAAD)

TU9: The German Institutes of Technology

Excellent in research, outstanding in teaching, internationally attractive

TU9 is the network of the leading Institutes of Technology in Germany: RWTH Aachen, TU Berlin, TU Braunschweig, TU Darmstadt, TU Dresden, Leibniz Universität Hannover, Karlsruhe Institute of Technology, TU München, Universität Stuttgart.

All of the TU9 universities have a long tradition to look back on and enjoy an excellent reputation among universities at home and abroad. Founded in the age of industrialisation, they have played a significant part in the development of engineering science ever since. Their scientific potential, range of courses and student numbers have grown continuously over a period of almost 200 years. This common ground forms the basis of their cooperation in the university association TU9.

The member universities are excellent in research: according to the Federal Statistical Office, TU9 members attract a fourth of all third-party funding. In the DFG ranking for research funding in engineering, the TU9 universities are to be found in the top groups. Nationwide, 57 percent of all doctorates in engineering are awarded at TU9 universities.

TU9 universities lead the way in teaching: In Germany 51 percent of all engineers with a university degree come from TU9 universities. Ten percent of all students at German universities are registered at TU9 universities.

Where to Study?

(c) Universität Heidelberg

A Compass for German Higher Education

Hochschulkompass

The Higher Education Compass of the German Rectors' Conference (HRK) provides extensive information on Germany's higher education institutions, on the range of studies and programs that they offer, on whom to contact locally, and on the institutions' international cooperation. These data are maintained and updated by the institutions themselves and are made directly available to you by Germany's state (public) or state-recognised universities of applied sciences, colleges and universities of the arts and music, and traditional universities.

The CHE University Ranking

The CHE University Ranking is the most comprehensive and detailed ranking of German higher education institutions (HEI). It includes 35 subjects and serves more than three-quarters of all first-year higher education students. In addition to facts about study programs, teaching, equipment, and research, the ranking also includes the assessments of 250,000 students on the study conditions at their HEI as well as an evaluation of the reputation of the departments by professors of the individual subjects.

Since its launch in 1998 by the Centrum for Hochschulentwicklung think tank, the CHE University Ranking has provided useful information for the primary target group of first-year students, as well as existing students and HEIs.