Understanding German Education System: A Detailed Guide

21K School · Feb 8, 2023 · 4 min read

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The quality of a country’s educational system is crucial when trying to figure out where in the world it would be best to go to school. Students might be confused by the sheer number of options online. Germany has been working hard to become the top destination of choice for Indian students studying abroad by upgrading its student policies regularly. Readers should read this blog to grasp what the German school system offers fully.

Why Study Abroad?

Among the most effective ways to broaden one’s horizons and advance one’s career is to study in a foreign country. Many students find that studying abroad profoundly impacts their development after being global citizens. Exploring the diverse culture of an entirely new geographic area can be incredibly exciting. Students may also get a chance to learn a foreign language and advance their careers. They can also take advantage of low tuition fees, especially in Germany, to graduate debt-free.

The German Education System – In Brief

The German education system can be divided into the different levels as follows:

Preschool Education

In Germany, children as young as six can attend preschool, but attendance is voluntary. Private, for-profit organizations rather than government-run schools provide most of this instruction. In addition to teaching children morals, religion, mathematics, science, health, nature, culture, etc., the elementary school focuses on improving students’ communication and language skills.

Primary Education 

In Germany, all children aged six and up must attend primary school. The primary goal of a student’s elementary through fourth-grade education is to equip them with the knowledge, understanding, and skills they’ll need to succeed in the world. The German language, other languages, general studies, mathematics, the arts, music, sports, religion, and more are some subjects taught at this level of the German education system.

Secondary Education

Upper and lower secondary education make up this tier of the German schooling system. Grade 10 is the final year of secondary school and serves as a transitional year to the next level of education. At the same time, the last two years of high school serve as a stepping stone toward the further academic or professional study. Both public and private institutions provide secondary education in Germany.

Tertiary or Higher Education

Part of the German education system, this level offers higher education to qualified students who have already passed their secondary education. The courses offered cover bachelor’s degrees, master’s degrees, and Ph.D. in various disciplines in different universities. In Germany, a bachelor’s degree is generally 3-4 years, while the master’s level degrees are between 1-2 years. There is no fixed duration for completing a doctoral-level course in Germany.

Studying In Germany

It’s no secret that Germany is a top destination for students who want to pursue their education. There are a wide variety of well-paying jobs available, and the cost of education is relatively low. Accredited educational institutions in Germany number over 380. The curriculum reflects contemporary ideas that provide more challenging employment options.

A Guided Step Towards Choosing the Colleges

If the students are set on enrolling in a university in Germany, the first step they should take is to learn the basics about the schools available. Shortlist the schools, compare their academic offerings, and then decide. The next step is to apply to the class they want to take. The university will email them within a few weeks if they meet the requirements for a candidature position. A letter of acceptance from an accredited school can be used as supporting documentation when applying for a student visa.

Beginning in April and continuing through July/August, summer enrollment runs concurrently with the winter enrollment period, which starts in September/October and runs through February/March. 

Cost Structure of the Courses Offered

Studying in Germany is a popular option among international students. However, people outside of Germany may wonder if higher education is free in Germany due to the large number of applications submitted to German universities. Indeed, German schools don’t charge students tuition-fee.

Most first-year courses at public universities are provided at no cost, meaning there are no tuition costs associated with attending. However, some courses at private universities may incur a small but manageable fee compared to other European universities.

When something is “free of charge,” it does not require any financial investment on the student’s part. Most colleges and universities require a semester contribution of €150–€250 to help defray administration and transportation costs.

Government Scholarships

If a student in Germany or elsewhere in the world, you can apply for a scholarship through the German Academic Exchange Service. Another place to find details on German scholarships and the application process is the FMBF or Federal Ministry of Education and Research.


We hope our readers have gained insight into the German educational system, application processes, and top-tier university options from this blog. Contact the professionals at 21K School- World Campus to get the best advice on the best programs and schools in Germany.


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