Every year millions of aspiring students seek rewarding degrees from international universities for enhanced career opportunities. Many are hindered from gaining a profitable education because of various countries’ high admission fees and living costs. In this aspect, finding a study abroad destination with advanced degrees, accessible fees, and affordable cost of living can be a challenge.

Germany with its largest economic graph in Europe and its great emphasis on education makes it an attractive country for higher education for international students. It boasts a well-regarded education system, providing degrees that are accepted worldwide. The German education system is regulated and accredited by the German Accreditation Council. They make all policies regarding education material, teaching techniques, etc, and make sure to implement them.

With a focus on electronics, machine learning, engineering, and business, there is a diverse range of courses offered here. The country has a record of spending over $1.5 billion on international scholarships. This offers great financial assistance to students who want to opt for higher education with cost-effective tuition fees.

There are many aspects to the German education system. To understand all its perks and drawbacks we have created a detailed article below for the foreign students seeking a degree here.

Pros / Advantages of the Education System in Germany

1. Academic Excellence

High standards of education and teaching are maintained in German institutes. The academic environment is vibrant with many prestigious institutes contributing to it. Germany’s education system is ranked second best within Europe with over 300,000 international students who have gained admission in various programs recently.

Universities like Ludwig Maximilian University of Munich, Heidelberg University, and Technical University of Munich have gained international acceptance. The quality of education is given priority as it improves economic growth by creating highly skilled and competitive graduates.

2. Dual Education Programs

This country contains a binary education system. To better prepare students for certain occupations, universities of applied sciences (Fachhochschulen) in Germany provide programs that combine academic study with job-related experience. This allows students to focus on their specific learning style and interest subjects preparing them for the practical field. They offer internships that prepare the student to improve their employability rates.

3. Industry-level Collaborations

Major universities partner with industries and prominent firms allowing students to explore their practices in real time. Internship opportunities and practical projects arise from this aspect which gives students an edge once they graduate. Additionally, networking possibilities can open the student’s doors to international exposure.

4. Considerable Scholarship Programs

Another big advantage of studying in Germany is the many scholarships universities offer. To support students with low-income backgrounds and financial constraints, German universities as well as the German government offer funding to international students annually.

One such example is the Scholarships at Heidelberg University which are for students of all nationalities.

Cons / Drawbacks of the Education System in Germany

1. Limited Learning

One big disadvantage of studying in a German university is its flexible credit-based education system. Although it gives students the flexibility to complete the course as they complete their credits. However, it sometimes drags the student behind as they become sluggish and fail to complete their course in the estimated time.

Another reason is that flexible learning practices allow students to partially self-teach which hinders their comprehension of different topics and contexts. It allows them to not shine as much in the practical field.

2. Limited Free Funding

The government of Germany has a set budget they spend yearly on tier education system. Although their education is world-class, the funds can sometimes run low and get limited which can cause financial issues for the student.

3. Selective Admission

Courses with limited enrollment or numerus clausus (NC) that have tight grading standards or entrance tests tend to have the most difficult admission processes at prestigious institutions. This limits the admission of a large quantity of students to various German universities.

4. Extended Study Periods

Some German programs may have a lengthier typical duration than those offered internationally. A bachelor’s degree program, for instance, may take more than the usual three or four years in other countries’ educational systems.

5. Poor Work-Life Balance

It might be challenging for students in Germany to juggle their job and academic responsibilities. Institutes here make sure students have no time to relax between classes, even if they work part-time. Some prosperous countries set a limit on the number of hours students may spend in university. This provides them more time to relax and immerse themselves in exploring the culture and landmarks of the country.

FAQs about Studying in Germany

How Is the German Education System Different from Other Countries?

High flexibility in curriculum, low tuition fees, strong research focus, and high accessibility make the German education system superior to other countries. Its concentration on education and research development gained it a prominent position globally. The German universities employ a credit system ECTS within which courses are chosen rather than sticking to a fixed curriculum.

The students gain credit points and complete courses through gaining credit, rather than going through a centralized study structure. This allows flexible education. Another quality that makes German education top-notch than others is its low to zero tuition fees as compared to other developed countries which charge significant fees from bachelor’s to master’s degrees. EU/EEA students can get free admission to public German universities while non-EU/EEA students must pay minimal fees.

Do International Students Face Extreme Challenges While Studying in Germany?

The biggest difficulty an international student can face in Germany is the language barrier as most courses are taught in German here. Getting accustomed to cultural norms and socializing outside the university can become a task for the student as natives speak German here.

Apart from this, the visa-gaining process in Germany is a bit challenging which can cause inconvenience for the student.

Living expenses are high here which is a cause of concern for international students. Mostly students rush to top-notch universities in cities such as Berlin and Munich which results in a surge in student population here. This makes getting affordable accommodation hard to find.

Furthermore, the course assessment method is ECTS which is different for most international students can become a big challenge to adjust to as well.


Germany is known as a country that has long contributed to modern research and global contribution to several international collaborations. It has numerous elite universities with diverse education programs and an advanced education system.


We hope this article helped you understand all the pros and cons of the German education system effectively. Read more insightful articles on our Study in Germany page! Get a chance to study in one of its universities by checking the Available Programs in Germany for international students!

About the Author: Hyun Lee

Hi! I am Hyun, and I am the founder at Global Scholarships. I've received a full-tuition scholarship at Birmingham-Southern College and a $1,000 Burger King Scholarship for my undergraduate degree and was offered a fully funded scholarship consisting of tuition, living stipend, and health insurance for computer science Ph.D. program at North Carolina State University. You can read more about my scholarship journey here. If you are interested, you can follow me on Linkedin where I regularly write about scholarship opportunities.

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