RECOGNITION OF YOUR SECONDARY SCHOOL
UNIVERSITY ENTRANCE QUALIFICAION
University entrance qualification: If you want to study at a German university, you will need a “Hochschulzugangsberechtigung” – or “university entrance qualification”. This is a school-leaving certificate which qualifies you for university study. If your secondary-school certificate is deemed insufficient for study in Germany, you will have to attend a foundation course (“Studienkolleg”) before you are allowed to enrol.
FIRST IS FIRST
The first thing to do is to find out whether your university entrance qualification is recognised in Germany. The DAAD entrance qualification database can help you with this. Simply enter the country where you attained your secondary school-leaving certificate You will then learn whether your certificate is
– recognised as qualification for general university admission
– recognised only for subject-restricted university admission (i.e. for study in a limited subject area)
– recognised only in combination with one or two years of successful university study in your home country not recognised as university entrance qualification
A formal university entrance qualification is sometimes not required from talented candidates applying for admission to artistic subjects. Depending on the university, you may have to submit samples of your work or pass an aptitude test instead.
IF YOUR SCHOOL-LEAVING CERTIFICATE DOESN’T SUFFICE
If your secondary school-leaving certificate is not recognised in Germany, you can gain entrance qualification to German university by completing a foundation course (“Studienkolleg”). You first have to pass an entrance examination to participate in a foundation course. Good German language skills are a prerequisite (B1 level of the European Framework of Reference for Languages).
At the conclusion of the foundation course, you will be tested in several subjects which are relevant to the subject of study you intend to pursue. This test is called the “university entrance assessment examination” (“Feststellungsprüfung”). One part of the examination is a language test.
Foundation courses usually take two semesters to complete and provide 28 to 32 hours of instruction per week. If your grades are very good, you are allowed to take the “Feststellungsprüfung” after only one semester.
Most universities do not charge a tuition fee for foundation courses. However, as a course participant, you are required to pay the semester contribution, which all enrolled students have to pay.
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