The progress of pupils in the German secondary schools is evaluated upon a 6-mark grading system as follows:
- 1 (very good).
- 2 (good).
- 3 (satisfactory).
- 4 (adequate).
- 5 (poor).
- 6 (very poor).
What Makes a Tertiary Education in Germany?
German tertiary education in Germany provides higher education for qualifying individuals, who before all, have completed secondary education in Germany or abroad which entitles them to enter higher education studies.
See all available higher education study programmes in Germany.
Who’s Responsible for Supervision of German Tertiary Education?
Higher education institutions under the Basic law enjoy the autonomy to independently manage the scholarship awarding, research and teaching activity.
For administrative issues, such as academic and governmental matters, these institutions have to be in accord with the Lander’s ministry.
Which Are the Institutions of German Tertiary Education?
Higher education studies (tertiary education providers) in Germany are named the recognized institutions providing higher education study courses leading to a profession that addresses needs of the local and international labour market.
Germany’s education providers, recognized as Higher Education Institutions are:
- Universities “Universitäten” and Equal Institutions.
- “Technische Hochschulen”/”Technische Universitäten”.
- “Pädagogische Hochschulen”.
- Theological colleges.
- Universities of Applied Sciences “Fachhochschulen”.
- Art and Music Colleges.
- Higher Education Institutions for Federal Armed Forces.
- Higher Education Institutions Offering Dual Studies “Berufsakademie” (BA).
- Institutions of Continuing Vocational Education “Fachschulen” And “Fachakademien” In Berlin. According to the International Standard Classification of Education (ISCED), the education received from these institutions is equal to the first level of higher education.
What Are German Universities and Equal Institutions Specialized In?
German universities are higher education institutions providing wide range of study courses. Equivalent institutions to universities offer a minor number of study courses, i.e. natural and engineering, theology, pedagogy, or alike.
Despite differences between them, both of these institutions are entitled to award Ph.D. titles “Doktorgrad” (Promotionsrecht).
Universities and equivalent institutions also have the exclusivity to offer education and scientific research study programs for the future academics.
What Are Colleges of Art and Music in Germany Specialized In?
German colleges of art and music are higher education institutions delivering study courses for education of the future artists or musicians, including teachers of art or music. Some of these institutions teach all art subjects and some others only certain study subjects of such area.
German colleges or art and music offer the following study courses:
- Visual, design and performing arts.
- Film, television and media.
- Theoretical studies, through the following core subjects:
- Fine arts.
- Art history and art pedagogy.
- History and teaching of music.
- Media and communication.
- Digital media.
What Are the Universities of Applied Sciences “Fachhochschulen” Specialized In?
German universities of applied sciences “Fachhochschulen” are independent higher education institutions providing practically-oriented and responsive teaching and research programs, towards labour market needs. These institutions are mainly self-sustained, and some of them are publicly funded.
The key distinction feature of German universities of applied sciences is inclusion of a paid practical training (practical job) “Praxissemester” in the study program. Such trainings are carried in premises of private businesses or public institutions/administrations aimed at placing the student closer to the labour market needs.
Teaching professors in Fachhochschulen, despite being academics, have a strong background of professional experience in the labour market, out of the academia.
German Universities of applied sciences offer the following study courses:
- Agricultural economy.
- Social work.
Along with other German universities of applied sciences, there is a “Verwaltungsfachhochschulen”. They provide study programs especially designed for training and educating civil servants of the Federal public administration. There are about 29 such institutions in Germany, and they are sponsored and managed by the Federation or the Land.
Note: In some Landers Fachhochschulen is called “Hochschulen für angewandte Wissenschaften”.
What Are “Berufsakademien” Specialized For?
German professional Academies “Berufsakademien” are higher education institutions providing alternative education through the academic training entitling students, who have finished the upper secondary education and have a university entrance qualification, to practice a specific profession.
Qualifications of the German Higher Education System
Bachelor Degree – First German Higher Education Qualification
The first higher education qualification in Germany is the Bachelor degree. The standard period of study “Regelstudienzeit” in a Bachelor program is 6 semesters, or 3 full academic years. In Universities of Applied Sciences bachelor studies last 6-7 semesters, by also including the practical work. In German Colleges of Art and Music such studies last about 8 semesters or 4 academic years. In Professional Academies they last 3 academic years. In Fachschulen bachelor degree studies last 2 academic years.
Depending the type of higher education institution of higher education issuing it, there are different Bachelor titles, as follows:
- Bachelor of Arts (B.A.).
- Bachelor of Science (B.Sc.).
- Bachelor of Engineering (B. Eng.).
- Bachelor of Laws (LL.B.).
- Bachelor titles issued by the College of Arts and Music:
- Bachelor of Fine Arts (B.F.A.).
- Bachelor of Arts (B.A.).
- Bachelor of Music (B. Mus.)
- Bachelor titles issued by higher education institutions offering studies in the education field:
- Bachelor of Education (B.Ed.).