The Higher Education System in Germany

Hörsaal einer deutschen Universität Enlarge image (© dpa picture-alliance) Higher Education plays a key role in German foreign policy, as it is still the basic resource for global development and wealth creation. 

In recognition of this, a lot has already been done to make Germany as a study location more attractive: Internationally-oriented bachelors or masters degrees are offered, study courses in English are more prevalent and systems are in place that allow for the accumulation and transfer of courses and exam results. Read more about how studying in Germany can boost your career and funding programmes.

Student from Ghana

Facts about the German higher education system

Some 1.98 million students are currently studying at German institutions of higher education. Almost half of the them (48 percent) are women. A total of 376 higher education institutions offer study programmes, including 102 universities, 170 universities of applied sciences and 69 private colleges. In recent years, the number of foreign students has significantly increased.

Studenten während einer Statistik-Vorlesung im Hörsaal an der Universität Leipzig

Germany is an attractive place to study

The Initiative for Excellence, greater autonomy for institutions of higher education, the introduction of new subjects, more bachelors and masters degree courses and larger numbers of students from abroad than ever before: Campus Germany finds itself in a state of change – and as a result is more attractive than ever before.

Female student learning (c)

Funding opportunities from and in Germany

Germany is one of the world’s most popular study destinations. There is an abundance of scholarships and funding schemes available – also at the individual universities. The following list therefore only stages the biggest funding institutions. 

The Higher Education System in Germany

Students in Humboldt University's "Audimax" auditorium

Alumniportal Deutschland

Study in Germany

Find programmes, universities and lots of helpful information on planning your stay.

Higher Education Compass


Learn more about different degree programmes, German universities and their international partnerships.