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Higher Education Institutions



427 higher education institutions are located throughout Germany (according to the Federal Statistical Office https://www.destatis.de/. Those interested in studying in Germany can choose between universities and university-status institutions (for example, the technical universities), or the universities of applied sciences, or the colleges of art, music and film. Public higher education institutions are open to students of all nations.

Your decision on which type of higher education institution is right for you depends largely on what your study objectives are. You must be quite clear in your mind about these before you begin to choose the most suitable institution.

 Before commencing your studies, you should certainly be able to answer the following questions:

  • What type of German higher education is right for you? Are you perhaps more interested in a shorter and more practice-oriented degree course at a universities of applied science or would you prefer to attend a college of art and music?
  • Do you intend to complete a full degree course in Germany or do you only want to complete part of your studies in Germany (for example one year) without gaining a degree in Germany?
  • Or have you perhaps already graduated in Indonesia and would now like to take a postgraduate course in Germany?
  • Will a German Diplom or Magister degree, or a Staatsexamen (ujian Negara), or a German universities of applied science Diplom degree be recognized as a professional qualification in Indonesia? Or would you rather choose to study for an internationally-recognised degree – Bachelor's/Master's?


Structure of university studies


I. University top

German universities are not merely institutions which provide education and training, but are also always places at which independent, pure and applied research is pursued. “Pure education and science” itself demands that students engage in strict academic work. Consequently, the length of studies is in some cases higher than in many other countries. Universities award the academic degrees of Diplom, Magister/Magistra Artium (M.A.), Staatsexamen as well as the doctorate. In addition to these, two new degrees have been introduced, namely Bachelor's/Bakkalaureus, and Master's. Universities have the right to confer the Habilitation, the teaching qualification for university professors. 

University faculties offer the following study fields: Medicine, science, engineering, humanities, law, theology, economics/business administration and social sciences, agriculture and forestry.

Structure of University Studies top

A degree course is divided into a basic study stage (Grundstudium) and a main study stage (Hauptstudium), with the former generally lasting four and the latter five semesters. The basic study stage is completed with an intermediate or pre-Diplom examination, while the main study stage is completed with Diplom, Magister degree or with Staatsexamen (Ujian Negara).

The intermediate or pre-Diplom stage doesn't constitute a professional qualification.

II. Universities of Applied Science top

While foreign students have no problem imagining what a university or technical university is, universities of applied science is a special feature of the German higher education system, with only a very short tradition to look back on. Nevertheless, universities of applied science enjoy a rapid increase in popularity; a quarter of all students now decide to begin their higher education career at the universities of applied science. The number of students engaged in universities applied sciences studies is five times higher than when it was founded. What primarily attracts students to the university of applied science is the shorter route to their future profession. Universities of applied science studies are very much practice-focused. Tight organization of the degree courses, teaching in small groups, continuous assessment by examination, and a choice of subjects oriented towards the necessities of professional practice open the way for shorter average studies than university degree courses can usually offer.

Indeed, universities of applied science teach and also research. However, this research is practice-focused and very much application-based. Consequently, the absolutely theory-focused degree courses are not offered in the universities of applied science. Rather, the range of subjects is directed in particular towards the needs of professionals requiring a practical and academic education in engineering, business administration, design, and the social services. The academic degree awarded by the universities of applied science is generally Diplom (FH).

Structure of FH studies top

A degree course is divided into the basic study stage (Grundstudium), which lasts 2 - 4 semesters and ends with an intermediate or pre-Diplom examination (Vordiplom) and the main study stage (Hauptstudium), which ends with the final degree examination (Diplomprüfung). The intermediate or pre-Diplom stage doesn't constitute a professional qualification.

III. Colleges of Art, Music and Film top

The education and training provided by the colleges of art and music in Germany aim to prepare students for careers as professional artists or musicians as well as teachers in artistic subjects. Studies at a college of music or art differ substantially from those at a university.

For admission, international applicants must be able to prove that they hold a higher education entrance qualification (e.g. school leaving certificate) that is equivalent to the German qualification and are suitably proficient in German. Furthermore, they must demonstrate their artistic talent in an aptitude test or presenting artistic-creative samples of their work (portfolio). However, please make sure that you inquire specifically at the respective higher education institution, since the admission conditions can differ greatly from one institution to the next.

The length of study is between eight and twelve semesters. Generally Diplom is awarded as the final degree.

International Degree Programs top

In the past three years, some universities as well as universities of applied science offer courses leading to an international degree. These courses are designed to attract foreign students and Germans looking to study with an international dimension. The range of study opportunities covers undergraduate, graduate, and postgraduate degree courses (Bachelor's, Master's, PhD levels). As a general rule, degree courses offered by the German higher education institutions fulfill the following conditions:

  • high academic standards
  • well-organized study programs
  • international degrees, e.g. Bachelor's and Master's
  • courses and lectures are taught in English, often during the first year of study
  • German language courses are offered before and during the program
  • Special services: academic and personal support services provided by tutors and mentors, intensively study counselling, work in small groups, etc.
  • Opportunities for completing study periods at partner universities and colleges abroad.

If you want to know whether a specific program suits you, please check more detailed information on the following website: www.daad.de/deutschland/studienangebote/international-programs/en/. Here you find a brief description of each program, with information on admission, language of instruction, fees, etc. top