Preparatory courses for Higher Education admission

Special training sessions have been implemented on behalf of the Bundesministerium für Bildung und Forschung (Federal Ministry of Education and Research), to enable recent repatriates, together with their children and spouses who immigrated with them, to enhance their qualifications for admission into German Higher Education. This special training is now also available for Jewish immigrants from former Soviet countries. Some Bundesländer (Federal states) may also accept migrants from other countries onto these courses.

More information can be found on the Educational Guidance Higher Education Guarantee Fund website.

Training locations:
•    Geilenkirchen (North Rhine-Westphalia)
•    Hanau-Hasselroth (State of Hesse)
•    Hamburg (Hamburg)

Duration: 2 years

Trial period: 3-6 months

•    German
•    English
•    Mathematics
•    Natural Sciences (Physics and/or Biology or Chemistry)
•    Social Studies (Politics, History, Values and Standards)

Final examination: the type and number of examination subjects may vary depending on the Bundesländer (Federal states).

Certificate: the course qualifications are equivalent to either the ‘Hochschulreife’ (A-level certificate) or the theoretical part of the Fachhochschulreife (BTEC qualification). For the latter, proof of an apprenticeship or complementary traineeship is required.

Preparatory colleges (Studienkollegs)

Preparatory colleges are institutions belonging to universities and states.

Here foreign university applicants, whose home qualifications are not recognised in Germany, prepare for the ‘Feststellungsprüfungen’ (assessment exams). Once these are passed, students are able to continue their degrees at any German institution for Higher Education.

Registration: applications may vary depending on the state. Registration is sometimes carried out through a university (usually via the International Office), directly through the preparatory colleges or, in some cases, through the Kultusbehörde (educational authorities).  

Duration: two semesters

Course start date: usually from start of semesters but this may vary

Entrance examination: German (Mathematics, Economics and Natural Sciences may also be tested at some course locations). Performance tests have been recently implemented with the aim of increasing application success.

Subjects: course type depends on the chosen degree. Applicants are placed onto different courses depending on their subject of study:

•    T-course (Technology, Mathematics, Natural Sciences)
•    M- course (Medicine, Pharmaceutics, Biology, Agricultural Science and related subjects)
•    W- course (Economics and Social Sciences)
•    S- and G- course (Linguistics and Humanities)

Guidance: the Higher Education Guarantee Fund Educational Guidance staff can help with all questions regarding further qualifications, university and choices, changing subjects, application regulations and study financing.

Funding: once admitted to a preparatory college, applications for funding, often in addition to BAföG (student grants), can be made in accordance with the Guarantee Fund guidelines.

Final exam: as part of the ‘Feststellungsprüfung’ participants will obtain a Higher Education entrance qualification specific to their subject, which will entitle them to study subjects within the corresponding groups (see above).


Otto Benecke Stiftung e.V.
Kennedyallee 105-107
53175 Bonn

If you have further questions, please call us or write us an email!

Martina Wagner
Tel: 0228 8163-129
Fax: 0228 8163-100
Email: Garantiefonds

Petra Tölkes
Tel: 0228 8163-211
Fax: 0228 8163-100
Email: Garantiefonds

Educational guidance offices:
Higher Education Guarantee Fund Educational Guidance

Otto Benecke Stiftung e.V. | Kennedyallee 105-107 | 53175 Bonn | Tel: 02 28 / 81 63-0 | mail: