Education in Germany
So now that you’ve learned a bit about Frankfurt’s past, we are going to dive into its present… Higher education.
Germany is well-known for its higher education system. With about 2 million students enrolled at German higher education institutions, Germany is recognized for its many universities that are ranked amongst the best universities in the world! Some of these include the University of Bonn (which will we learn more about later), Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität München, and Universität Heidelberg.
Germany has multiple higher education institution types like their American counterparts; however, the five institution types are not all the same to those in America. The typical institution types you will find in Germany are Universität (University), Technische Universität (Technical University), Fachhochschule (University of Applied Sciences), Kunst-, Musik- und Filmhochschule (Art-Learning College), Berufsakademie (University of Cooperative Education), and Private Hochschulen (Private Colleges).
The two types of institutions we will be visiting during the Study Abroad Program are universities and universities of applied sciences. Here is a bit about each type:
Research centres: the university is the traditional form of higher education institution. Germany’s 102 universities closely link research and teaching. Most universities offer the full range of subjects. However, a university with a strong technological orientation is known as Technische Universität (TU, technical university) or Technische Hochschule (TH, college of technology). Compared to universities of applied sciences, they place greater emphasis on basic research.
Practical training: Germany’s 170 Fachhochschulen (FH, universities of applied sciences) have a strong practical orientation and close ties with the world of work. The main emphases are technology, business, design and the social sector. However, you cannot study medicine or law or complete a doctorate at a university of applied sciences.
Let’s take a look at one of the universities we will be visiting in Frankfurt:
(Click on the picture to watch a video about Goethe Uni)
“Goethe University Frankfurt, positioned among the top international research universities, offers a wide variety of academic programmes, a diverse group of research institutes, and a focus on interdisciplinary approaches to solving complex problems. The university is named after Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, the Frankfurt-born polymath renowned for his exceptional contributions to literature, science, and philosophy.
Founded in 1914 with private funding and inspired by the legacy of the European Enlightenment, Goethe University stands out as a pioneering “citizens’ university”—and the history of the university is one of openness and public participation.
Today, Goethe University is one of the only universities in Germany that enjoys significant public funding alongside administrative autonomy and the ability to create a private endowment.
As a university with an endowment, a funding model rare in Germany’s system of higher education, GU enjoys considerable freedom from state control when it comes to the details of how a modern university should be run, including the appointing of professors. The endowment that is being built up will be invested specifically in promoting an excellent atmosphere in which to research, study, think, and create.
Situated in Germany’s most cosmopolitan and international city, the university attracts a diverse body of students and researchers from around the world. Students at Goethe benefit from studying and living in Frankfurt, the largest financial and trading centre in Europe—with plenty of opportunities to learn and practice speaking German. Today, Frankfurt is rated among the top 10 most liveable cities in the world (according to Mercer Human Resource Consulting).
Facts and Figures
- 41,000 students ( winter semester 2011/12)
- 6,500 international students
- 558 professors
- 58 endowed professorships and visiting professorships
- Since 1914, 19 Nobel laureates have worked or studied at Goethe University
- Endowment: €145.5 million (including firm pledges)
- €136 million in third-party funding, plus €333 million from the state of Hessen
- More than 8 million items in the university library”
Retrieved from http://www.uni-frankfurt.de/english/about/index.html.