Legal requirements – what are the general admission requirements for attending university in Brandenburg?

On this page we describe the legal requirements for access to higher education in the state of Brandenburg for foreign students. The universities will provide answers to individual questions regarding university admission.   

Access and admission to higher education programs in Brandenburg are regulated by the Brandenburg Higher Education Act (BbgHG), the Brandenburg Higher Education Admissions Law (BbgHZG), and the State Regulations for the Allocation of Higher Education Places (HVVO).

University admission for foreign nationals and stateless persons

Prerequisites:

- they are in possession of a foreign education certificate (e.g., Abitur - general higher education entrance qualification) that entitles them to study at a university in the issuing country (i.e. usually in their home country) and this qualification is equivalent to a university entrance qualification acquired in Germany and they possess the language skills required to complete the study program, or

- they possess the language skills necessary to complete the study program as well as a foreign professional qualification that is equivalent to a German professional qualification which entitles its holder to commence a higher education course in the state of Brandenburg (§ 9 (3), Sentence 1 BbgHG), or

- they have passed the entrance examination of a German university (§ 9 (1), Sentences 5 and 6 BbgHG).

Foreign education certificate (Abitur and similar secondary school qualifications)

The foreign education certificate which entitles its holder to pursue a university education in the issuing country must be equivalent to one of the following German qualifications:

- general higher education entrance qualification,

- subject-restricted higher education entrance qualification (access to the relevant field of study),

- university of applied sciences entrance qualification (access also to study at a university),

- subject-restricted university of applied sciences entrance qualification (access to the relevant field of study at both universities of applied sciences and universities),

- university degree qualifying for entry into a profession.

If the university degree was acquired in a signatory country of the Lisbon Convention), it is sufficient if this degree is not significantly different from German university degrees.

Professional qualifications acquired abroad

The professional qualification acquired abroad must be equivalent to one of the German qualifications listed under a) No. 6 and 7 (or § 9 (2), Sentence 1 No. 6 to 11 BbgHG) in order to entitle its holder to pursue an undergraduate university degree (e.g., Bachelor degree). Foreign nationals and stateless applicants have the opportunity to pursue an undergraduate university degree, provided they have completed a lower-secondary level education (usually nine or ten years of schooling) as well as vocational training relevant to the intended field of study and have at least two years of professional experience. The education completed abroad must be equivalent to the German lower or upper secondary levels and the vocational training must be equivalent to a German vocational training.

Entrance examination at a German university

Pursuant to § 9 (1), Sentences 5 and 6 BbgHG, applicants who have passed the entrance examination at a German university are entitled to pursue a university degree under certain circumstances. The entrance examination determines whether the applicant possesses the professional competence and the linguistic and methodological skills to pursue a degree program or certain related degree programs. The Ministry of Science, Research, and Culture is currently working on an ordinance that will regulate the details of the entrance examinations at universities in the state of Brandenburg.

Required language skills

Foreign nationals and stateless applicants must demonstrate the language skills necessary to pursue a university degree. Ordinarily, they must demonstrate German language skills. For courses taught in languages other than German, applicants must demonstrate skills in the respective language of instruction, e.g., proof of proficiency in English for degree programs taught predominantly in English. For details please refer to the individual universities. As a rule, German language skills at level DSH-2 (corresponds to C1) are required.

German language skills at level DSH-1 (corresponds to B2) will usually be sufficient for provisional admission to a degree program on the condition that the applicant reaches level DSH-2 during the study period.

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