Studying in Germany – a good choice
Interested in studying or doing research abroad? Why not choose Germany, land of ideas! Higher education in Germany increasingly stands for innovation, internationality and strong support for high-calibre research.
Through the Bologna Process, the internationally recognised system of bachelor, master and doctoral degrees has been widely introduced, although the changeover is not yet fully complete. Many of the courses on offer are designed particularly for international students and taught in English.
In 2005 the German Government launched and financed a new scheme to promote excellence in higher education. The Excellence Initiative, as it is known, invites universities to compete for extra funding for their excellence clusters and graduate schools. Extra research funding is also on offer for those with the best concepts for their future development. The money made available to date amounts to some 2.7 billion euros.
The Excellence Initiative is not a one-off affair, however. For the new five-year period starting in 2012 a total of 45 graduate schools and 43 excellence clusters have won extra funding. Eleven universities have secured funding for the best future concepts: RWTH Aachen, FU Berlin, HU Berlin, Bremen University, TU Dresden, Heidelberg University, Cologne University, Constance University, LMU Munich, TU Munich und Tübingen University.
Varied higher education landscape
Enlarge image Higher education in Germany increasingly stands for innovation, internationality and strong support for high-calibre research (© dpa) All over Germany would-be students can find a large number of high-quality programmes catering for their particular interests and needs. The 376 universities, universities of applied science, colleges of art, music, theology or public administration offer a huge choice of programmes and disciplines covering everything from languages, media studies, cultural studies, law, economics and the social sciences to art, music, drama and design as well as medicine, agriculture, forestry, and domestic and nutritional science.
In the field of engineering and the natural sciences a group of nine universities with a technical orientation – the so-called 'TU9' – now collaborate to offer excellent study programmes in mathematics, informatics, the natural sciences and engineering.
Many scholarships available
The most important organisation to contact for help with organising and funding a period of study or research in Germany is the German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD). DAAD is the largest international academic exchange organization in the world. In 2011 it awarded over 40,000 scholarships to students and graduates from abroad keen to study or do research in Germany.
Students and researchers from abroad can obtain funding from a wide variety of targeted programmes tailored to their particular needs. These range from classical scholarships for doctoral students and short-term research grants to annual, semester and short-stay scholarships. A number of foundations in Germany also award scholarships and grants. Beneficiaries are selected in line with the foundations’ own criteria and specific remit.