University System in Germany

The German university system is divided into two kinds of institution: Universities and colleges (University of Applied Sciences). If you plan to study in Germany you should know that there are some differences between these two kinds of universities.

Universities have, since the time of reformer Wilhelm von Humboldt (1767–1835), pursued the “unity of research and theory.” German universities are thus not simply or strictly educational, but also focus on research into fundamentals and even applied research as well. Universities award academic degrees and doctoral degrees. At a university, you can habilitate or qualify for a professorship.

A University of Applied Sciences (Hochschule or simply HS) is an institution devoted to natural sciences, social sciences, economics, technical or artistic subjects. This type of institution is relatively new and was started in 1970. The characteristic feature of a HS is the focus on practical teaching and research, especially in the fields of engineering, business, management, and social studies. You can go to a HS if you have a higher general entrance qualification (e.g. A-levels) or a higher entrance qualification in that specific subject.