The 5 best universities in Germany
Study in the country of Bach and Beethoven. Source: Shutterstock

According to data from, Germany is the 5th-most popular study abroad destination among the current student cohort, and the 4th-top dream location among prospective students. More than 12 percent of learners enrolled across this nation come from overseas, eager to explore German beauty, culture and tradition.

In terms of both teaching and research, higher education providers in Deutschland stand among the best. They offer world-leading programmes, with particular strength in applied science and specialised automotive courses, preparing students for success in a competitive global market.

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It’s a country that has everything: elite learning institutes, splendid people and fairytale landscapes. Lest we forget the schnitzel, frankfurters and beer festivals laden with lederhosen. It truly is wunderbar!

“There’s something undeniably artistic in the way Germany’s scenery unfolds; the corrugated, dune fringe coasts of the north; the moody forests, romantic river valleys and vast vineyards of the centre; and the off-the-charts splendour of the Alps, carved into rugged glory by glaciers and the elements,” Lonely Planet notes.

If it sounds like your kind of gig, here are the five best universities in Germany, according to QS World Rankings 2019.

1. Technical University of Munich (TUM)

On top of dominating its home country, TUM ranks 61st in the world, cementing its position in TU9 – an conglomerate of the country’s most esteemed universities.

Since its foundation in 1868, TUM has established and refined 15 academic departments, offering 173 German- and English-taught programmes in natural, engineering, life and food sciences, as well as medicine, business and education.

Blending top-class facilities with ground-breaking research, students and staff at TUM build solutions that benefit the world. The school is dedicated to making Munich feel like ‘home away from home’, offering orientation, tutoring and buddy programmes to help students settle in. And with strong ties to companies and scientific institutes all over the globe, a TUM education could be a foot in the door to powerful industry players.

2. Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität München (LMU)

Close behind TUM sits LMU, ranked 62nd in the world and coming in 2nd for Germany.

With a portfolio that spans the humanities and cultural sciences to law, economics, medicine and natural sciences, LMU has undoubtedly earned its position among Europe’s premier research universities. With an outstanding 500-year heritage, this school has played a major role in empowering the contemporary knowledge economy.

“LMU is home to students from all parts of Germany and more than 130 countries around the globe, says Professor Doctor Bernd Huber, President of LMU. “At all stages of academic training we emphasize the links between research and course content. Our students view their studies as a springboard to a rewarding career, not least because Munich is one of Germany’s major centres for technology and the media.”

3. Ruprecht-Karls-Universität Heidelberg (RKUH)

RKUH comes in at an impressive 64th worldwide, also standing as the nation’s third-best university.

Its history dates back to 1386, making it the oldest learning institute in Germany and one of the oldest in Europe. Twelve faculties offer over 160 programmes, promising unique and diverse subject combinations you’d struggle to find elsewhere.

From winter 2017/18, international students from non-EU and non-EEA (European Economic Area – Iceland, Lichtenstein, Norway) countries with a foreign university entrance qualification are required to pay a tuition fee of EUR1,500 per semester for Bachelor’s/Staatsexamen and consecutive Master’s degree programmes at all universities in Baden-Württemberg (Germany) – that includes RKUH. But this institution guarantees a strong Return on Investment (RoI), making you highly employable as you progress to your career.

4. Karlsruhe Institute of Technology


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Ranked 4th in Germany and 116th in the world, KIT has made its mark on the global education stage.

In terms of employability, KIT ranks 1st in the nation, producing qualified graduates who are actively sought by employers. On top of this, KIT performs very well for the key indicators of ‘Cooperation with employers’, ‘Reputation among employers’, and ‘Proportion of employed alumni’. It also runs a Centre for Innovation and Entrepreneurship, offering free guidance and resources to students and alumni launching a business or startup.

“With more than 9,000 employees and an annual budget of about EUR 785 million, KIT is one of the biggest research and education institutions worldwide and has the potential of reaching a top position in selected research areas on an international level,” the institution notes.

5. Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin (HUB)

At 5th in Germany and 121st in the world, HUB is another great choice for the prospective international student.

Established as the ‘Mother of all universities’ in 1810, where it strived towards harmony in both teaching and research to provide a comprehensive humanist education, HUB paved the way for much of the university structure we know so well today. Placed in the heart of Berlin, learners here enjoy the fruits of Europe’s best student city.

Beyond academics, HUB offers a plethora of exciting extra-curriculars. Almost 100 sports breathe life into the campus, while the Language Centre offers a variety of courses ranging from Arabic to sign language, also including German language courses for international students at many different levels.

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