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Education in Germany is not centrally organized. Each of the 16 states have their own laws and regulation. Germany institutions are very independent and from application to admission deadlines – much is decided by the institution. There are more than 400 institutions of higher learning offering 20,000 courses. However, around 1,100 of these are taught in English.
There are different types of institutions of higher learning in Germany:
Universities: Universities primarily teach theoretical knowledge. Courses have a strong academic emphasis and there are many different subject groups. Some specialize in particular subject areas. For example, the universities with the prefix “TU” specialize in technological programs. You can also study for a doctorate (PhD) at universities.
Universities of Applied Sciences: Study programs at such institutions are very practice oriented. More emphasis is on vocational application rather than theory. Courses are tailored to meet professional requirements. However, just like universities, they offer bachelor’s and master’s degrees. The subject areas include technology, business, social services or media. Some courses contain fixed periods when you go on work placements or conduct projects in companies in Germany or abroad. These internships or projects can last several semesters depending on the study program. In most Universities of Applied Sciences, students can’t pursue doctoral (PhD) degrees.
Universities of Art, Film & Music: Students can study creative subjects like art, film, music, architecture, fine arts, acting, dance and fashion design here. Students must prove that they have the aptitude necessary to pursue a career in these fields through entrance exams. Most programs are taught in German in these universities.
Most universities are government funded. Of the 400 universities, around 120 are private universities. Many private universities are universities of applied sciences. Only 5.5% of students attend private universities in Germany – and these have high fees.
For more details about studying in Germany, students can refer to the official German Websites promoting Education:
Germany is home to some of the world’s foremost engineering and technology companies. Germany is home to 29 Fortune 500 companies. The bulk of these are in mechanical, electrical and chemical engineering. Consequently, the most popular field to study in Germany is Engineering. Further, as Europe’s largest economy – Germany is also popular for management students. Here are the most popular fields of study in Germany by total international students:
|Field of Study||Total International Students|
|Engineering & Technology||137000|
|Business, Law, Economics & Social Sciences||79000|
|Mathematics & Natural Sciences||33000|
|Human Medicine & Health Sciences||15000|
Germany universities are known for their focus on research and application-oriented learning. This has propelled many German universities to rank among the top 3% of universities in the world. Here are the top five universities in Germany by their World Ranking:
|Technical University, Munich||49||Munich|
|Ludwig Maximilian University||59||Munich|
|Frie University, Berlin||118||Berlin|
Germany has two intakes. The main intake is the Winter intake and the secondary intake is the Summer intake. Indian students usually prefer the winter intake as this enables them to complete their undergraduate degree by June / July and fly to Germany in the subsequent months.
|Intake||Start Preparing By||Applications Close By||Apply For Visa By|
|Winter (Sep / Oct)||November||April/May||July|
|Summer (April)||May||October / November||January|
Germany is the cheapest European country to study in. Most universities are funded by the German government and so these universities charge only a nominal fee to the student. Students studying in Germany can expect to pay the following tuition fee towards their education:
|Program Type||Typical Number of Years Education||Average Annual Tuition Fee (In Indian Rupees)|
|Undergraduate Education||3||EUR 500 ( Rs 45k)|
|Postgraduate Education (Except MBA)||2||EUR 500 ( Rs 45k)|
|MBA||1/2||Rs 20 lakhs – Rs 40 lakhs|
Apart from this, students will spend approximately Rs 7 – Rs 12 lakhs per year on their living expenses. However, this can easily be funded by working part time while studying.
Students can apply to universities in Germany either through the university website or on the UniAssist Website. Generally, students prefer applying directly on the university website as it is free. However, for some programs – universities only allow students to apply through UniAssist. In such cases, students have no choice but to apply through Uni-Assist. However, one advantage of applying through UniAssist is that students can upload their documents once but apply to multiple universities.
Students should apply latest by April for the October intake and by October for the April intake. Students will need to submit the following documents when applying to universities:
Germany is one of the most immigrant friendly countries in the world. Here is the pathway to immigration after students complete their master’s degree:
Step 1 – Job Seeker’s Visa: After graduating, students can apply for a Job Seeker’s visa if they do not get a full time job. On this visa, they can stay back in Germany for 18 months even without a job or even with a part time job. The Job seeker visa is not renewable.
Step 2a – Work Resident Permit: Students must apply for a work resident permit the moment they get a full time job. The job must be relevant to the program they have studied and must be full time in nature. The duration of the work resident permit is four years or the length of the work contract, whichever is shorter. This permit can be renewed multiple times.
Step 2b – EU Blue Card: If the student gets a full time job with a salary at least 1.5 times the minimum wage, they can apply for an EU Blue Card. This is just like the Work Resident Permit – but with the EU Blue Card, students can work in any other European Union Country. However, to get the EU Blue Card, the employer must be able to prove to the Government that there are no qualified Germans who can fulfil the job role.
Step 3 – Permanent Settlement Card: If the student has completed 33 months on the EU Blue Card, they can apply for a Permanent Residency (PR) if they know the German language at the B1 Level.
For more information about the pathways to immigration, click here.
The students have to submit their English test results. However, these scores should not be older than two years. Here are the English proficiency requirements of some universities.
The German Student visa takes upto 30 days to process in most cases, but students should apply as soon as they get their admit, or at least two months in advance – whichever is earlier.
The following documents are required to apply for the German Student Visa:
The process to apply for the German Student Visa is as follows:
STEP 1: Open Your Blocked Account
A blocked account is an account in which students must add EUR 11,208. Once they reach Germany, they can withdraw upto EUR 934 per month from this account to fund their living expenses. You can open a German blocked account with any of the empanelled banks. Please check the German Mission In India website for the list of empanelled banks.
STEP 2: Gather All Your Documents
Once you have opened a blocked account, the next step is to gather all visa related documents. These documents have already been listed above.
STEP 3: Fill Your Visa Application Form
Fill the German Student Visa Application Form and Declaration which states that all your documents are genuine.
You can find the Visa Application Form here.
STEP 4: Schedule a Document Submission & Biometrics
Submit your Visa Documents at a Visa Application Centre in your city. You can schedule an appointment here.
You need to also pay the visa fee through a Demand Draft and should carry 1 set of originals and 2 sets of xerox copies of all documents to the visa appointment. Don’t staple documents. As of 2023, it costs EUR 75 to submit a German Student Visa Application.
STEP 5: Schedule a German Student Visa Interview Appointment
Schedule a visa interview with the German consulate in your city. Questions in the visa interview are to judge the authenticity of your application, genuineness of your documents and intentions after graduating.
The DAAD (German Academic Exchange Service) provides more than 80 scholarships for Indian students. Of these, more than 50 are for graduate students – and of those, more than 40 are for Engineering / Computer Science related programs. All scholarships provided are merit based and depend on the applicant’s academics, research / work experience, application SOP. Some of the most popular scholarships are:<
|Scholarship Name||Amount||Selection Criteria|
|Baden Wurttemburg Scholarship||EUR 600 – 1400 monthly||1500 students are given this scholarship from across the world. Students must study at an institute in the state of Baden Wurttemburg. For this scholarship, universities nominate students who are deserving. Then, final recipients are selected from this list of nominees.|
|Federal Ministry of Education & Research Scholarship||EUR 300 monthly||29,000 students are selected annually for this scholarship. Only students who study at Universities (not universities of applied sciences) are eligible for this scholarship.|
|Friedrich Ebert Foundation Scholarship||EUR 830 for UG students; EUR 850 for PG students||40 scholarships are given annually. In addition to having a strong profile, students must hold at least a C1 level proficiency in German.|
For more scholarships in Germany click here.
We hope this article was useful for you to apply to German universities.If you have any questions about pursuing masters in Germany, or about the study abroad process in general – do contact us; our counsellors would be happy to help.