National Higher Education System
As in most Northern European countries, the third-level system comprises the traditional research-driven universities, the universities of applied sciences and private institutions.
Germany's universties are amongst some of oldest and most respected in Europe. Only a handful of them offer undergraduate programmes through English.
A University of Applied Sciences is the right choice for you, if you would like to combine academic and scientific knowledge and learn how to apply it in employment. The programmes Germany's 160 universities of applied science are structured much like they are at universities, but the curriculum is tailored to your career choice. Research is becoming more and more important at universities of applied sciences, though their main focus remains teaching.
There is also a wide range of private third-level institutions in Germany, some of which are very good indeed. However, fees at these institutions can be high.
There are no tuition fees in German public universities though, in most you will have to pay a small 'semester-fee' for administration expenses of €250-300 per semester
In private institutions, fees are much higher.
Grants & Loans
Though not straightforward, there are opportunities, subject to certain strict criteria, for EU students to claim financial aid [BaFoG] or student loans.
There are several organisations which offer financial support for a course of study in Germany.
Several foundations and organisations are directly supported by the German government or industry, whereas others are run by the church or other private organizations. Some programmes are intended specifically for foreign undergraduate students.
There is a wide variety of application processes and procedures in Germany, partly becuase third-level eduction is run by the individual states, not on a federal level.
In many cases, at the outset of the application process , you need to apply through uni-assist, the German central qualifications verification system. Uni-assist will charge you a small fee. However, not all uUniversities or Universities of Applied Sciences use the services of uni-assist [or the seperate state-based qualification verification services such as that in Bavaria].
In all cases [whether or not you are first requested to use uni-assist], you will need to send an application dossier directly to the university. Different universities have different requirements and application deadlines. Note that some Universities have difficulty in processing A-Level and Leaving Certificate results in time [our results our out 'late' by their timetable] for entry in the same year as our students take their school-leaving exams. Accordingly, students who want to enter some German Universities will need to take a gap year.