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.
German universities offer diverse options
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Germany is one of the leaders in the international competition for the world’s best brains. Whether in a large city or in the country, whether traditional or modern, very few other European countries have such a diverse higher education landscape. 376 universities, universities of applied sciences, colleges of art, teacher training and theological colleges and specialist administrative colleges offer a huge range of subjects and courses. At the beginning of 2007, the Higher Education Compass, which is published by the German Rectors’ Conference (HRK), registered exactly 8,865 courses leading to a first degree and 2,807 postgraduate programmes. Whether medicine, European studies, vehicle design, economics or computer graphics, the academic possibilities are almost infinite. And if a subject is not available in , more than 18,000 international collaborations with almost 4,000 foreign institutions of higher education in 140 countries offer additional opportunities.
Academic excellence and international orientation at German universities
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The academic excellence of German universities and universities of applied sciences (Fachhochschulen) is convincing more and more “high-potentials” from all over the world. Almost 250,000 foreign students are currently registered at German universities – nearly 100,000 students more than 10 years ago. In the 2004/2005 academic year alone, the number of US citizens studying in Germany rose by 10 percent. A German university place is especially popular with students from China, Bulgaria, Poland and Russia.
In the course of the “Bologna process” institutions of higher education will be replacing their Magister and Diplom courses with programmes leading to bachelor’s and master’s degrees by 2010. Almost half of all the study programmes at German institutions of higher education have already been restructured. As a result, students’ qualifications can be more easily compared with those from other countries. The universities themselves are also taking up the competitive challenge. The Federal Government and the individual Länder are making available 1.9 billion Euro for the current Initiative for Excellence. This money will be used to support graduate schools for young researchers, excellence clusters for cutting-edge research and the research profiles of up to ten selected elite universities.