Number of the Month: 399 universities in Germany

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Germany’s 399 universities attract many students from abroad

Germany’s higher education system enjoys an outstanding international reputation and is well known for its excellent conditions. This is partly thanks to the great diversity of the German higher education scene. According to the German Rectors’ Conference (HRK), an association of German universities, students were able to choose between 399 universities and three different types of university in 2015:

  • Those interested in a pronounced academic focus tend to pick one of the 121 conventional universities.
  • Candidates with more of a practical bent are better suited to a course of study at one of the 220 universities of applied sciences (known in Germany as Fachhochschulen, or FH for short).
  • Creative people with artistic talent prefer to go to one of the 58 colleges of film, art or music.

The right university for every kind of researcher

The conventional universities frequently offer a broad range of subjects. Technical universities (TU) concentrate on basic research in the engineering and scientific disciplines (TU). The Fachhochschulen (FH), the universities of applied sciences, are specific to Germany and have a strong practical orientation. Together, German universities offer 17,731 courses of study, 1,104 of which are international and run in a language other than German.

Attractive to international students

The great diversity and excellent research and teaching reputation of the 399 universities are important reasons why more and more international students want to go to a German university. In 2014, 2.7 million students were enrolled at universities, of which 301,350 were of non-German citizenship. Nearly half of all international students are from Europe. The proportion of Asian students has also risen sharply.


More information about German universities