German Education System
Germany is known for its world class education and top ranking universities. It has become the number one priority for many international students for their studies. With more than 250,000 international students, Germany is rapidly becoming the most popular study destination after USA and UK. Do you know why it is at the top of its class? There are certain factors that make German Education System unique. Read the unique education system in Germany.
Basic Academic Structure in Germany:
Pre-school education in Germany is available for children between the ages of 3 to 6. However, these are not state-supported and are not free. Children must compulsorily start attending state run schools at the age of 6. Compulsory education continues mostly until the end of the school year and the children would ideally reach the age of 18. The compulsory schooling rules vary from one federal state to another in Germany.
The Dual Education System:
Germany is proud to have Europe’s lowest youth unemployment rate; thanks to its Dual Education System. Students who complete their high school degrees are given an option to specialize in an area of their interest. While many go to universities, others choose a dual training program. Students receive vocational training that involves both practical knowledge and theoretical expertise in this system.
The German Higher Education System:
There are three types of higher education institutes in Germany. They are
- Universitäten (Universities) – Universities emphasize traditional form of higher education and link research and teaching. Most universities offer a wide range of subjects, so the students can specialize in specific subject areas of their interest.
- Fachhochschulen (Universities of Applied Sciences) – Institutions offering these courses focus on practical training. The main emphasis is on technology, business, design and social sector.
- Kunsthochschulen (Colleges of Art and Music) – Programmes are offered in artistic and creative subjects like fine art, music, graphic art, fashion designing, film-making, etc. Students are required to successfully complete an entrance examination to gain eligibility to these courses.
Education Opportunities for Foreign Students:
Students from around the world are considering Germany as an increasingly attractive option for higher education. Quality oriented teaching, admission to top ranking universities, world-class facilities, excellent faculty, and scholarships available to international students are some of the factors that constitute to a significant increase in the number of foreign students in Germany. Also, foreign students can work in Germany for up to 120 full days and 240 half days without a work permit. As per the rules of certain states, students are permitted to work during semester breaks too. Due to the growing in-flow of international students, various universities have switched to English taught courses for their convenience.
Reforms Associated With Bologna Declaration:
German education system has been going through several reforms associated with the “Bologna Declaration” to establish internationally accepted Bachelor’s and Master’s Degrees and increasing global employability of their students. While many of the aims of the Bologna Process have already been employed, some are yet to be accomplished.
Flexibility of the German education system attracts students from all over the world. Highly subsidized tuition fees and relatively low living costs makes Germany one of the top priorities in terms of choice for international students.