How to choose the right university

Universities to choose from: For high school graduates, the endless list of German universities is hard to miss. And each one is different, has its own inner life, its own rules. But by what criteria do I choose the right university? What am I going to do to further my career opportunities and to have a pleasant student life? We tell you what to look for in your university election .

University elections: stay relaxed!
There are 432 universities in Germany, including 106 universities. Which is the right one for me? According to which criteria should I choose my university? The reassuring message beforehand: It does not matter very much whether you have earned your academic degree in Cologne, Darmstadt or Clausthal-Zellerfeld for your professional career .

Last week, Manager Magazin presented an evaluation by elite researcher Michael Hartmann. His result: out of 529 board members of the 100 largest German companies , the vast majority studied at a stink-normal state university .

In any case, Hartmann could not recognize a measurable advantage of private or certain state universities. It follows that who wants to make a career in Germany does not have to cramp when choosing his university. By studying at a conventional German university you lay a good foundation for your future career .

University election: Elite complacent?
Other countries tick elitism. In France, many doors open only with a degree from the ENA, in the US, the job opportunities for extreme water levels increase only if you can prove a successful study at Harvard or Yale (eg). Now also in this country, the status quo is not cemented to all eternity. The federal government has been sponsoring individual elite universities for some time , and the elite stamp should generally increase its appeal.

In any case, do not spend your money in expensive private universities that do not bring any significant benefits. Especially since the tuition fees have been abolished in recent years across the board, the academic playing field has been adjusted across the country.

Despite everything: there will always be differences between the individual universities. Three or four minutes you should think about which university is the perfect place for you. To help you make that decision, we have summarized the most important criteria for undergraduate students - sorted from 'very important' to 'only important on a case-by-case basis'.


The most important criteria for your university election
Numerus clausus
The NC is something like the trapdoor hidden in the ground between you and your dream college. The admission restriction varies from subject to subject, from state to state, from university to university. Example: It is much easier to come to a place in dentistry in Saxony-Anhalt or Schleswig-Holstein than in Bavaria, Berlin or Hesse. The numerus clausus belongs, completely logically, to the very beginning of your basic considerations.

geography
Next consideration: Do I stay at the Hotel Mama or do I cook my soup myself? If you decide on option one, the proximity to the university is decisive. A daily journey of 30 to 40 kilometers is in any case feasible, if you have a car. From 50 or 60 kilometers, but it is already critical. Do not underestimate the factors of time and force that cost the pendulum movements day after day. Commuting not only beats on your mind, but can also influence your academic performance for the worse.

city
Is for many students criterion number one. After all, you want to spend the next year of your life in this city - and you should also feel a bit comfortable. Everybody knows Berlin, but have you been to Tübingen before? If not, learn about cultural offerings, the fun factor and beautiful parks for jogging before making your decision. Also by request to other readers in our new sister portal .

finances
The cost of living in Germany is anything but uniform. In the East they are lower than in the West, the rents in Duisburg cheaper than in Dusseldorf. If your budget does not allow big jumps, high-priced cities like Hamburg or Munich may be out of the question. But do not underestimate typical student cities, the housing shortage is often high there, the rents are therefore expensive. Therefore take a look at the local rent levels and compare the average rental rates. Also, there are several computers in the network for living expenses, with which you can play through individual scenarios.

course of studies
Before you graduate, you should choose your subject carefully. Naturally. But business administration is not always equal to business administration, Romance studies here differently than Romance studies there. What content does my degree program have in concrete terms? What are his priorities? Are there possibly professors who are luminaries in their field of expertise? Mandatory internships to be completed? A compulsory semester abroad? Compare the content in terms of your personal interests and career plans. And ask the question of how it is ordered to online courses and attendance. In North Rhine-Westphalia, for example, a dispute has been raging for months about the new Higher Education Act, which has more or less nullified the compulsory attendance. Such framework conditions could give you more flexibility in your studies.

Campus life
Let's be honest: The fun factor is at least as important to most students as the professional competence of their Germanistik lecturer. A doctoral thesis came to the conclusion a few years ago that the trappings on campus are ultimately the most important decision-making feature. What are the dormitories? How the sports courses? And what is going on in the evening especially in the party hall? Online forums help with your research, and we would also like to make a special contribution to our interactive communityrefer. Incidentally, even the left-right attitude question could have a certain relevance. If, for example, you want to cross the blades in a striking fraternity, you may not find the right environment in a university with a strong left - and vice versa. In principle, it is well known that most of the universities in the political spectrum tend to locate on the left. If you are more interested in the political balance of power, then take a look at the respective results in the elections to the student parliament.

caseload
If the keyword mass-university falls, the image of a crowded auditorium immediately jumps in front of the mental eye. In fact, at large universities fewer professors can take care of all the aspiring academics. This point speaks for smaller, less crowded universities, for less hip cities. But: small-town universities are of course not per se to be equated with a good care key. In Münster, Freiburg or Göttingen drive more students around than a Berliner may imagine.

rankings
University rankings are overrated but popular. They break down the most complex relationships into a simple 1-2-3 ranking that's quick and easy to consume. And they leave, veracity or not, definitely their mark on the collective consciousness. The University of Mannheim, for example, has developed an outstanding reputation for its business administration department over the years. One or the other personnel will be aware of this, which does not diminish the chances of employment for a graduate from Mannheim. In addition, applicants can use it to their own advantage by proactively pointing this out when applying. So yes, rankings can give useful hints, but should not be overstated in the university election.

main emphasis
At the RWTH Aachen everything revolves around high-strength screws and centrifugal compressors and hybrid drives and ... Ergo, technicians in Aachen are simply better off than philosophers. In which fields does the university have its strengths? What are your priorities? Again rankings could provide clues here. In addition, a large range of courses increases your options overall. Because it could well be that you want to reorientate yourself in the middle of it or want to stick to a master's degree.

domestic equipments
While in the Ruhr area the plaster crumbles from the walls, in the universities of the new federal states, even the toilet bowls are made of marble. This is a joke, but it should be very serious that not every research institute is blessed with the very latest equipment. Especially in subjects with practical application needs, this is no advantage. It may actually be advisable to take a close look at the university (if possible).

economy
The urban economy helps - or keeps you from, depending on where you are - important contacts with the private sector during your studies. Finally, you should / should be able to complete (compulsory) internships, gain practical work experience in part-time jobs, and equip your resume with a work-study degree. Include the urban economy in your considerations. Which (large) companies are represented here? Which industries characterize the city? Where could I apply? Examples: Berlin has a vibrant media and startup scene, but hardly any industry. Typical university cities offer top academic research, but outside the ivory tower often only a few fields of activity.

Partner-Unis
If you want to incorporate a semester abroad into your curriculum from the outset, then take a look at the international partner universities. You have South Africa on the list, the university but "only" China? You want to live in a Spanish-speaking country, but the university only brings you to Anglo-Saxons? The global network of the university could be a factor if you want to set the right course for an international career.

Access
A criterion that is not so insignificant. If you've never done the rag, you'll need to travel by bus and train (apart from the bike). How do I get from A to B, as from my student flat to the university? Does an ICE stop at the main train station, which I use to hurry home at the weekend? How many long-distance buses drive through here? And for Globetrotters (that's what students are usually into) it's also convenient to know an airport nearby.

Spin-offs
In spin-offs, the innovative power of a university manifests itself. How active and successful does your favorite university actually promote such spin-offs? If your desired university has a good quota in this regard, you could even benefit from it later on, assuming appropriate ambitions .

Six steps to choosing the right university

There are many colleges to browse, yet there are steps you can take to limit your alternatives. Perusing our college manage – which joins scores for the parts of college life that issue most to understudies – is a decent begin. However, what next?

1. Research on the web

By far most of UK courses are on Ucas, where you can channel them by area and course. When you've limited it down, see what point by point data is accessible on college sites. Look at their Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, YouTube or Snapchat pages. They may run web talks with scholastics or understudies where you can make inquiries.

2. Consider the course structure

Discover how you will be educated and evaluated, similar to whether a course has a ton of tests, expositions, or gathering work, and furthermore think about the course content. Thais Cardon, concentrating English writing at the University of Exeter's Penryn grounds, says she laments not investigating her perusing records before she got to college. "I got fortunate in light of the fact that in the third year I get the opportunity to think about Harry Potter," she says. "Be that as it may, certainly take a gander at the course material."

3. Go to open days

It's constantly worth visiting the college. "We emphatically exhort that any ultimate conclusion you make depends on how you feel on the open day," says Tom Holland, peaceful lead at Blackpool Sixth Form College. He recommends understudies go no less than twice (on the off chance that you can manage the cost of the movement costs) and invest however much energy there as could reasonably be expected. There will be parts going on, so plan ahead of time, so you don't miss anything. When you're there, converse with whatever number individuals as would be prudent, visit the town or city just as the college. In the event that you can, bring somebody along for a second supposition. Ideally "somebody who won't be as energized and starry-peered toward as you", Cardon includes.

4. Make inquiries

"Approach staff and understudies for their conclusions and ask what they believe is great about the uni," Holland says. "Get some information about existence past the college, similar to where the course will take you – and request proof. For instance, you could ask what past understudies have ordinarily proceeded to do."

5. Consider area

Think about where the college is and the convenience on offer. How costly is the territory? What's more, okay incline toward a bustling city or a calmer provincial grounds?

6. Look past addresses

You'll likely be inhabiting college for somewhere around three years, so discover what's on offer outside the educational modules. One college may have a functioning film society, and another might have an enthusiastic mixed drink club, or winning football crew. "On the off chance that a college doesn't offer a general public you need, you can generally begin one, so it shouldn't be a characterizing thing," Baillie says.

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