Higher education in Germany
Germany is a federal country. German higher education sector is regulated partly at federal and partly at state level.
Types of institutions
In Germany, higher education are offered at three types of Higher Education Institutions.
- Universitäten (Universities) including various specialised institutions
These institutions offer the whole range of academic disciplines. In the German tradition, universities focus in particular on basic research so that advanced stages of study have mainly theoretical orientation and research-oriented components.
- Fachhochschulen (Universities of Applied Sciences)
These institutions concentrate their study programmes in engineering and other technical disciplines, business-related studies, social work, and design areas.
The common mission of applied research and development implies a distinct application-oriented focus and professional character of studies, which include integrated and supervised work assignments in industry, enterprises or other relevant institutions.
- Kunst- und Musikhochschulen (Universities of Art/Music)
These institutions offer studies for artistic careers in fine arts, performing arts and music; in such fields as directing, production, writing in theatre, film, and other media; and in a variety of design areas, architecture, media and communication.
Higher Education Institutions are either state or state-recognised institutions. In their operations, including the organisation of studies and the designation and award of degrees, they are both subject to higher education legislation.
Types of programmes
German higher education used to be offered in integrated "long" (one-tier) programmes leading to Diplom- or Magister Artium degrees or completed by a Staatsprüfung (State Examination).
German higher education is currently adapting to the three cycle degree system of the European Higher Education Area. Therefore, the old one-tier programmes are successively being replaced by a the new system.
Bachelor and Master's programmes are offered parallel to or instead of the integrated "long" programmes. The Bachelor and Master's programmes are designed to provide an enlarged variety and flexibility to students in planning and pursuing educational objectives, they also enhance international compatibility of studies.
Overview degree structure
|Website of the German Accreditation Council (GAC)|