Types of Universities in Germany: German University System

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German termEnglish termMeaningAdditional info
HochschuleHigher education institutionA general term for all higher education institutions, i.e. all three university typesColloquially, Hochschule is often used to talk about UAS only
Universität (Uni)(Research driven) universityTerm for one of the three university types: More theory-driven universityColloquially, Uni is often used as a general term to talk about all university types
Technische Universität (TU)Technical universitySub-type of a research-driven university: Focus on the STEM subject groupCheck out this article to learn more about technical universities in Germany
Pädagogische Hochschulen (PH)Sub-type of the University of applied sciences: Focus on the STEM subject groupSub-type of a research-driven university: Focus on educational and pedagogical subjectsMany PHs were integrated into regular universities. Today, you find PHs in the state of Baden-Württemberg
Hochschule für angewandte Wissenschaften (HAW)/Fachhochschule (FH)University of applied sciences (UAS)University of EducationBoth terms are used interchangeably. HAW was introduced to reflect the equality of UAS and universities after the Bologna reforms in 1999
Technische Hochschulen (TH)Technical university of applied sciencesSub-type of the University of Applied Sciences: Focus on the STEM subject groupThe RWTH Aachen is a research-driven university but carries the term TH in its name. In other cases, TH denotes universities of applied sciences
Duale HochschulenDual studies institutionOffer a combination of vocational training and academic educationThis subtype developed out of vocational academies (German: Berufsakademie), which reveals its dedication to the professional training of its students

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