Outstanding universities in Germany

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Superlative higher education: these are Germany’s most innovative, largest, oldest and most international universities.

Germany’s best universities

publishes an annual list of the world’s 1,000 best universities. Ten rank among the top 100:

  •     Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität München (34)
  •     Technical University of Munich (41)
  •     Heidelberg University (45)
  •     Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin (62)
  •     RWTH Aachen University (79)
  •     University of Freiburg (82)
  •     Freie Universität Berlin (88)
  •     Technische Universität Berlin (92)
  •     University of Tübingen (94)
  •     University of Bonn (100)

Germany’s most innovative universities

In 2018, 23 German universities are listed among . The news agency Reuters compiles the ranking on the basis of ten criteria, including the number of patent filings and research paper citations. These are the three top spots:

  •     Universität Nürnberg-Erlangen (5)
  •     Technical University of Munich (6)
  •     Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität München (8)

The German university to produce the most Nobel laureates

The Technical University of Munich has so far produced 16 Nobel laureates in physics, chemistry and medicine, the Universities of Heidelberg and Göttingen have 14 each.

Germany’s largest university

Around 76,000 students are currently enrolled at Germany’s only state-funded distance education university in Hagen.

Germany’s oldest university

Founded in 1386, Heidelberg University (originally named Ruperto Carola) is the oldest university in Germany and one of the oldest in Europe. It is one of the leading medical universities, and Heidelberg is also home to the German Cancer Research Center. Other areas of specialisation are neurobiology, physics, chemistry, mathematics and law. Heidelberg University is the first German university to establish branches abroad; in Santiago de Chile, New York, Kyoto and Delhi.

Germany’s most international university

Almost one in four students at the Technical University of Munich comes from abroad. According to the THE 2018 ranking, the TUM has the highest proportion of international students, at 23 percent. The record-holder is a small, private music university in Berlin, however: at the beginning of the academic year in 2016, no fewer than 97 percent of the Barenboim-Said-Akademie’s 37 students came from a country other than Germany.


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Germany is featured with the considerable number of 44 research institutions in the “World University Rankings 2018”. And with 20 universities in the Top 200, Germany is the third strongest country.

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

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