Education & knowledge

As a place to study, Germany is one of the most popular destinations for international studentsEducation
As a place to study, Germany is one of the most popular destinations for international studentsEducation David Fischer/dpa

Vibrant Hub of Knowledge

Germany is well positioned as an academic hub. The reforms of recent years have taken effect, research has a more international focus than ever before


World’s most cutting-edge research ship:
“Sonne”, Alfred Wegener Institute, Bremerhaven
World’s brightest storage-ring-based X-ray radiation source:
PETRA III in Hamburg
Europe’s largest supercomputer:
JUQUEEN, Forschungszentrum Jülich
Germany’s largest particle accelerator centre:
DESY in Hamburg
Daniel Bockwoldt/dpa
Germany offers scientists outstanding infrastructure for research using major instrumentation – from high-performance computers to particle accelerators. Moreover, German research is active in many international Big Science projects.
There are 2.7 million students enrolled at around 400 higher education institutions in Germany
There are 2.7 million students enrolled at around 400 higher education institutions in Germany impress picture/ullsteinbild
Germany is very popular among international students. The academic landscape is diverse and excellent – and not only in the major cities

183.5 million


euros was the amount the Federal Foreign Office contributed to the budget of the German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD) in 2017. This is the biggest individual item, accounting for 34.8 percent in total. The funds are used to run a wide range of foreign cultural and education policy projects and programmes.



Programme for Women Professors

Women in Germany are nowadays more likely than men to study, and write ­almost half of all doctoral theses – but less than one quarter of professors are female. This is why in 2008 the Federal Government and the states launched the Programme for Women Professors. With a budget of 200 million euros for the third phase from 2018-2022, the programme is designed to increase the number of women ­professors and promote equality. As part of the programme, over 500 woman professors have been appointed.

Thomas Ernsting/laif
Germany consciously invests in research and science and has an excellent research infrastructure. The major research organisations enjoy a worldwide reputation.


Oldest university
University (founded in 1386)
Youngest university

Medizinische Hochschule ­Brandenburg (founded in 2014)
Biggest university
University of Cologne (53,176 students)
Most attractive university for international cutting-edge and young ­academics
Freie Universität Berlin (2017 Humboldt Ranking)
Thomas Koehler/Photothek via Getty Images
The German research landscape has an international focus, is well networked and open to academics from abroad.
Some 8.4 million pupils attend general-education schools
Some 8.4 million pupils attend general-education schools Thomas Trutschel/Photothek via Getty Images
In Germany it is compulsory for all children to attend school. The Federal states are responsible for the school system.
"Germany -- new horizons" is a short film about six students from around the world who are studying in Germany.
For many people it’s the most successful EU project of all time. Thanks to Erasmus, the exchange programme for students, and now also, pupils and teachers, four and a half million people have broadened their horizons. So many happy returns for your thirtieth!
Academic exchange
Academic exchange dpa/Jaspersen
Germany accords importance to academic cooperation also in its foreign policy. Here, academic exchange with crisis and conflict regions plays a special role.
A short overview of further information about education, knowledge and research, plus associated links.
What are we doing? To preserve cultural heritage in crisis regions? To counter the return of nationalism in many countries? To create deeper networks? How do we use digitisation, for example, in education or in museums in the 21st century?