These universities are excellent

Innovative, international, globally networked: five success factors of German universities.

People from 125 countries study and research at the FU Berlin.
People from 125 countries study and research at the FU Berlin. Peter Himsel/FU Berlin

International university partnerships

300 of Germany’s approximately 400 universities collaborate with universities and institutes abroad. In Germany, the University of Göttingen is the leader in international university collaborations. It maintains 630 partnerships worldwide.

Germany’s universities attract top researchers

How do you measure the academic excellence of a higher education institution? One way is to use the Humboldt rankings: guest scientists selected by the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation choose their workplace themselves. According to the 2017 Humboldt Rankings, the Free University of Berlin is regarded as the most attractive German university by both top-level and up-and-coming international scientists, followed by the Humboldt University Berlin and the Ludwig Maximilians University Munich.

Innovative teaching at German higher education institutions

The Stifterverband für die Deutsche Wissenschaft (Donors’ Association for German Science) awards the Ars legendi Prize for excellence in university teaching. In 2018 it went to the economist Evelyn Korn of the University of Marburg, whose students appraise and revise each other’s essays. In this way they learn how to argue in a scientifically convincing manner – and have a direct influence on the exam marks awarded.

Germany’s ‘greenest’ university

The Environmental Campus Birkenfeld is the first German university to be counted among the world’s ten ‘greenest’ universities. The ranking compiled by the University of Indonesia assesses infrastructure, energy and climate change, waste management, water, mobility and training. In the category of energy and climate change the Environmental Campus Birkenfeld was rated as the world’s number one for the second time in succession.

The Environmental Campus Birkenfeld is a model for sustainable structures.
The Environmental Campus Birkenfeld is a model for sustainable structures. Linda Blatzek

Universities of applied sciences with a practical orientation

The German Fachhochschule (university of applied sciences) model is in demand internationally. The highly practical orientation of the universities of applied sciences also characterizes successful bi-national projects such as the German-Jordanian University and the Shanghai-Hamburg College. The universities of applied sciences have expanded their range of study subjects over the past few years. In 2017, Fulda University of Applied Sciences was the first to be granted the right to confer doctorates, previously a privilege of the universities.

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