What is the higher education system

The German higher education system

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The first step in studying at a German university is to get to know the German higher education system. Depending on the course of study, there are various options that are directly related to the registration process.


Higher education institutions

There are three different types of university facilities in Germany. Each has its own admission criteria for interested students.

This option is for students looking for a scientific, academic, and more theoretical education. Universities offer a wide range of courses, the focus of which is usually connected to research. But there are also universities that specialize in certain subjects, such as the technical colleges (TH) or the technical universities (TU), medical colleges or universities of teacher education.
The universities of applied sciences are often portrayed as universities of applied sciences. Although they offer fewer courses than universities, they differ mainly in their practical approach. They offer technical college education with a practical and applied orientation that is determined by the specific requirements of the professional world. Many courses are also offered at universities, but at a technical college they have a more practical focus on the job market.
This area is aimed at students interested in studying art, fashion, design, music, and film. The focus here is on both theory and practice, and prior knowledge in the area of ​​interest is usually required.

Different degrees

In addition to the various institutions, there are also three different university degrees, depending on the course and faculty.

Bachelor corresponds to the Brazilian bacharelado and is the first university level to be recognized on the labor market. It has a duration of 6 to 8 semesters and is modular. After the bachelor's degree, students can start their careers in their field or continue their education and do the master's, which is roughly the same as the Brazilian mestrado corresponds to. In order to be able to do the master's, one must have completed the bachelor's degree.
Mind you, at a few universities you can still get a diploma, especially in engineering, and a master’s degree in social sciences. The title of graduate engineer, for example, is recognized worldwide and is awarded after studying for 5-6 semesters and submitting a final thesis. However, since the European higher education reform (also known as the Bologna Process), most universities have switched their education systems from diplomas or magisters to bachelor's and master's degrees in order to standardize academic training in Europe.
In addition to the two degrees mentioned above, there is also the state examination. This consists of an exam developed and coordinated by the state education authority, which students can take to graduate in medicine, law, pedagogy or pharmacy and which entitles them to practice as a doctor, lawyer and in some cases as a teacher or pharmacist. It is like a stately professional license in the field of appropriate training.

After the master’s degree, diploma or state examination, you can do a doctorate. This corresponds to the Brazilian doctoral degree.

There are two grading systems in Germany. On the one hand, grades 1 to 6 are given, with 1 being the best and 6 being the worst. This is the most common system, also at universities. On the other hand, there is a system from 1 to 15, with 1 being the worst and 15 being the best