There are more than 370 higher education institutions in Germany, including 110 full scale universities, 189 universities of applied science, 51 art colleges, 30 colleges of public administration, 14 colleges of theology and 6 colleges of education.
Most of the higher education institutes are public institutions. Almost 99 % of all students in Germany are matriculated in these public institutions and 1% of them study in 80 private universities.
Since the first foundations of the fifteenth century, German universities have shown a long tradition of academic excellence. Wilhelm von Humboldt (1767-1835) reformed the higher education system and established the union of research and teaching at German universities. This resulted in institutions which not just only teach, but also realize independent basic and applied research. After the reform in the 70ties of the last century, students have achieved greater freedom in the choice of subjects.
Most German universities belong to one of these two types:
- University (Universität) / Technical University (Technische Universität):
The Universities or technical Universities are traditional universities or technical courses focusing on theory and research, with titration of Magister (for humanities and social sciences), Diplom and Bachelor (both for exact and natural sciences) or Staatsexamen (for the areas of law and medicine) and the possibility to take part of a PhD-Program. There are also courses for the training of teachers in primary and secondary education.
- University of Applied Sciences (Fachhochschule):
Universities of Applied Sciences are offering compacted and focused practice studies, with a requirement for an internship during the studies. The title obtained is the Diplom (Dipl.) or Bachelor (Bachelor of Arts).
Moreover, there are several schools of music and art, religious universities and other special universities.
The German Rectors' Conference overviews a broad list of Germany's higher education institutions, offered through its Higher Education Institution's Compass.
To make Germany a more attractive research location, making it more internationally competitive and focusing attention on the outstanding achievements of German universities and the German scientific community the German federal and state governments on 23 June 2005 passed the “Excellence Initiaitive”. As a result of this initiative the German Science landscape and especially the universities receive approximately €4.5 billion additional funding between 2006 and 2017. Learn more about the “Excellence Initiative”: