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Education

Hessen offers excellent higher education opportunities: five universities, two art colleges and five technical colleges are based in the state. In the winter term of 2011/2012, about 209,000 students were matriculated at Hessen’s higher education institutions, including 27,600 students from abroad. Below you will find an overview over Hessen’s universities and higher education colleges:

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Universities

Goethe-Universität Frankfurt am Main
The Goethe University is a research-focused university in the European financial centre of Frankfurt. The people of Frankfurt founded the university by subscription in 1912, and it was opened in 1914. Today, its 41,000 students make Frankfurt Germany’s third largest university. More than 500 teaching staff work in 16 faculties and teach 170 courses. The university’s courses in Law, History, Economics, Life Sciences and Interdisciplinary African Studies are particularly well-regarded. The Institute of Social Sciences is well-known internationally. It is here that the so-called Frankfurt School was born – one of the most important currents in philosophy and the social sciences in the 20th century. A new campus for the humanities and social sciences has recently been built in the Westend district. The ‘Science City Riedberg’ collects the scientific faculties in the immediate vicinity of two Max Planck Institutes. The state of Hessen is supporting the project, the largest new university development in Europe, to the tune of over €500 million.

Goethe-Universität
Senckenberganlage 31
60325 Frankfurt am Main
Telefon: 069-798-0
Internet: www.uni-frankfurt.de

 

Technische Universität Darmstadt
The 1 January 2005 saw Darmstadt’s technical university become the first independent university in Germany. The university was founded in 1877; it and its 17,000+ students are known for expertise in engineering, chemistry and information technology. In these fields the TU Darmstadt is so well regarded that many local employers hire graduates immediately upon completion of their courses. The university is also committed to an international outlook: Over 14% of its students are from abroad. In addition, the TU cooperates with 65 other universities worldwide. It is one of Germany’s leading research universities in engineering, the natural sciences, social sciences, humanities and economics. Darmstadt is also a member of the TU9 group (of nine leading technical universities). The resulting combination of technology and economics, complemented by foreign languages and work experience abroad, gives graduates a head start in professional life.

Technische Universität Darmstadt
Karolinenplatz 5
64289 Darmstadt
Telefon 06151 / 16-0
www.tu-darmstadt.de

 

Philipps-Universität Marburg
Marburg’s Philipps University was founded by Landgrave Philip the Magnanimous in 1527, as the first Protestant university in the world. It is one of the oldest continuously functioning universities in Germany. Today, about 22,000 students are matriculated in 16 different faculties. Teaching in the humanities, natural sciences and medicine is accorded particular prominence. Almost all scientific disciplines, apart from engineering, are represented at the university.
University facilities are largely concentrated in two locations, which are connected by an extensive bus network.
The list of famous scientists – including Nobel Prize winners – and other leading figures who taught or studied at Marburg is a long one: Denis Papin, Robert Bunsen, Emil von Behring, Alfred Wegener and Otto Hahn, to name just a few.
The coming decade will see an extensive new building project for the university, which will collect the humanities and university library on a city-centre campus by the edge of the Old Botanical Garden.

Philipps-Universität Marburg
Biegenstraße 10
35032 Marburg
Tel: 06421 28-20
www.uni-marburg.de

 

Justus Liebig University Giessen
The Justus Liebig University is a modern institution drawing on over 400 years of history. There are about 25,000 students distributed among 11 faculties, including social and cultural studies, medicine, law and veterinary medicine. Within these faculties, students have 150 different courses to choose from, ranging from bachelor’s and master’s courses to doctorates.
The university is named after its most famous faculty member, Justus von Liebig, who is considered the founding father of modern chemistry and among the greatest teachers of chemistry of all time. Having been appointed professor in 1824, he taught at what is now the JLU for 28 years. Another famous professor was Wilhelm Conrad Röntgen, who discovered the Röntgen rays named after him, and was awarded the first Nobel Prize in Physics for this achievement.  
The JLU was founded in 1607 and is now Hessen’s second largest university. Its various locations are scattered throughout Giessen. The university offers a combination of subjects unparalleled in Germany in the fields of the ‘classical’ natural sciences, medicine and veterinary medicine, agricultural sciences, ecotrophology and environmental management. This provides a broad foundation for the life sciences.
The campus also features numerous historic buildings. The 400 year-old botanical garden, home to over 7500 species of plant, is still in its original location in the town centre. It is open to visitors but is also used by the university for research purposes.

Justus-Liebig-Universität Gießen
Ludwigstraße 23
35390 Gießen
Tel: 0641-99-0
www.uni-giessen.de

University of Kassel
The University of Kassel was founded as part of the education reforms of 1971, as a model for a new and all-encompassing university concept. It is characterised by a many-layered combination of specialisms unusual for a German university, notably nature, technology, culture and society. Courses related to these fields have over 22,000 matriculated students.  The university is very international in outlook, maintaining more than 180 cooperation agreements with a wide variety of institutions and 16 partnerships with universities and research centres around the world. The Graduate Center for Environmental Studies, which hosts master’s courses relating to sustainability and the environment, also contributes to Kassel’s reputation. A further characteristic of the university is the balance it achieves between engineering, natural sciences and maths on the one hand, and humanities, social sciences and the arts on the other.

Universität Kassel
Mönchebergstraße 19
34109 Kassel
Tel +49 561 804-0
www.uni-kassel.de

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Higher education colleges/universities (‘Hochschulen’)

Hochschule Darmstadt
12,000 students, 300 teaching staff and over 40 courses make the Hochschule Darmstadt one of the largest universities of applied sciences in Germany. Its taught courses and research capacity encompass fields such as engineering, maths, information technology, computer science, economics, social sciences, social work, architecture, media and design. The practical, scientifically grounded higher education it provides, enjoys a high reputation. Once called ‘Fachhochschule Darmstadt’, the present institution was founded out of several predecessors in 1971. The roots of today’s departments of architecture and civil engineering can be traced back to the mid-19th century through the former ‘Landesbaugewerkschule Darmstadt’. The subject of design draws on more than 100 years of tradition here. In 2006, the ‘Fachhochschule’ was renamed as ‘Hochschule Darmstadt – University of Applied Sciences’. The departments are based at five locations within Darmstadt as well as in Dieburg.

Hochschule Darmstadt University of Applied Sciences
Haardtring 100
64295 Darmstadt
Tel.: 06151 16-02
www.h-da.de

 

Fachhochschule Frankfurt am Main
The Fachhochschule Frankfurt am Main – University of Applied Sciences offers young people a way into promising careers with its scientifically based and practically defined courses. 10,000 students from almost 100 countries are pursuing extra-occupational and postgraduate courses to prepare for the demands of their intended career paths. The four departments encompassing over 40 courses reflect the scientific profile of the institution. The material covered is continuously updated and complemented by new, future-oriented courses. Alongside subject-related studies, imparting key skills such as teamwork and work methods is given high priority. 888 full- and part-time teaching personnel with practical experience guarantee a qualified, scientific and practically relevant education. A large campus and recently redesigned canteen contribute to a good atmosphere. The comprehensive and mostly free provision of sports facilities is unparalleled in Germany. The FH theatre, based in its own theatre hall, is also a firm part of campus culture.

Fachhochschule Frankfurt am Main - University of Applied Sciences
Nibelungenplatz 1
60318 Frankfurt am Main
Telefon: 069 / 1533-0
www.fh-frankfurt.de

 

Hochschule Fulda
The Hochschule Fulda was founded in 1974, as Hessen’s fifth public college of higher education. It had existed since 1971 as a branch of the Fachhochschule Giessen. The predecessor of Fulda’s current Hochschule was a technical college of education, founded in 1963, which trained teachers in musical and technical subjects. Despite a rapid expansion to the current eight departments with 130 teaching staff and almost as many assistant staff, the college is of a manageable size for its 6000 students. Fulda is a very compact college. Most buildings are grouped on one campus. This makes it easy for students to get to know one another, as well as the teaching staff. The college offers a broad spectrum of subjects across the fields of information technology, electrical engineering and computer science, food technology, ecotrophology, care and health, social and cultural sciences, social and cultural affairs and economics.  Apart from providing a solid education open to social and ecological advances, the departments also pursue applied research. Numerous research and development projects are carried out in partnership with companies from eastern Hessen as well as with other institutions. This practical focus benefits not only the college’s collaborators, but also the quality of research and teaching. 12% of students come from abroad, from over 80 different countries in total.

Hochschule Fulda  - University of Applied Sciences
Marquardstr. 35
36039 Fulda
Telefon: 0661/9640-0
www.hs-fulda.de

 

Hochschule RheinMain
The RheinMain college was founded in 1971 as the ‘Fachhochschule Wiesbaden’, composed of the former engineering colleges of Geisenheim, Idstein and Rüsselsheim as well as Wiesbaden’s former college of applied arts. Since 1 September 2009, the college’s official name has been ‘Hochschule RheinMain/University of Applied Sciences/Wiesbaden Rüsselsheim Geisenheim’. There are six departments, created from the former 14 by amalgamation. Wiesbaden hosts the following: Architecture and Civil Engineering, Design IT Media, Social Affairs, as well as the Wiesbaden Business School; Rüsselsheim hosts the Department of Engineering and Geisenheim the Geisenheim School (comprising courses in horticulture, international wine trade, landscape architecture, viticulture and beverage technology). The Hochschule RheinMain has more than 10,000 students taking over 50 courses, including on-the-job, dual and online courses as well as 17 master’s courses. The college has around 700 staff, including 226 teaching staff. The Hochschule RheinMain is the first college of higher education in Germany to feature its own forum for doctoral students, and has also maintained a cooperative doctoral forum with the Goethe University of Frankfurt since the summer term of 2009.

Hochschule RheinMain
Kurt-Schumacher-Ring 18
65197 Wiesbaden
Tel: 0611 94 95 – 01
www.hs-rm.de/

 

Technische Hochschule Mittelhessen
Renamed in 2010, central Hessen’s technical college is a comparative newcomer to the educational stage. Following its foundation in 1971, the TH Mittelhessen largely concentrated on the classical engineering sciences and worked closely with local industry. With locations in Giessen, Friedberg and Wetzlar, the TH Mittelhessen has continuously expanded its range of subjects and now offers more than 50 courses for around 13,000 students. The THM is made up of eleven departments, teaching mechanical engineering, economics, hospital and medical technology and even social and cultural studies. Both bachelor’s and master’s degrees are supported.  The THM maintains close links with industry. Many mid-sized companies have developed technologies and products in collaboration with students and staff at the THM.

Technische Hochschule Mittelhessen
Wiesenstr. 14
35390 Gießen
Tel: 0641-309-0
www.th-mittelhessen.de

 

Frankfurt University of Music and Performing Arts
The Hochschule für Musik und Darstellende Kunst (HfMDK) Frankfurt am Main is Hessen’s only college for music, theatre and dance. It trains musicians, music teachers, singers, composers, conductors, dancers, directors and actors. 65 teaching staff and 320 other teaching personnel teach about 900 students. This diversity of artistic potential is reflected in the 20 different courses in which practice-oriented training is offered. Training is available in individual instruments and singing, composition, conducting and church music, as well as teacher training for all school categories. In addition to contemporary and classical dance, teaching is also offered in acting, direction, and theatre and orchestra management. Doctoral study can be undertaken in music education and musicology. At the same time, the college initiates cooperation programmes with various members of the community as well as with schools and music schools, thereby contributing to wider cultural education. Networking with the cultural venues of Frankfurt and the Rhine-Main region is another part of the college’s profile. Staging 200 events and public concerts per year, the HfMDK spreads artistic impulses and represents a strong location factor for the city of Frankfurt and the Rhine-Main region.

Hochschule für Musik und Darstellende Kunst Frankfurt am Main
Eschersheimer Landstraße 29-39
60322 Frankfurt am Main
Tel: 069-154 007-0
www.hfmdk-frankfurt.info

 

Hochschule für Gestaltung Offenbach am Main
Offenbach’s college of design has a 175-year history. The Hochschule für Gestaltung was founded as a craft school in 1832, to educate the next generation of craftsmen. It soon developed into an art school in which crafts, arts and theoretical subjects were taught simultaneously. It was converted into an artistic and scientific college for the state of Hessen in 1970. Today, the HFG Offenbach offers scientific and artistic teaching and is engaged in research in the many disciplines of visual communication and product design, with a particular emphasis on electronic media and emerging technologies. Openness is a particular trait of the college: The arts, media and design are accorded equal status in teaching and are developed together. Here, the emphasis is on combinations of theory and design, experiment and product, and new and old imaging techniques. Four subject choices are available to students wishing to graduate with the Diploma of Design qualification: art, communication design, media, stage and costume design (department of visual communication) and product design.  The college additionally offers a two-term, project-based
postgraduate course.

Hochschule für Gestaltung Offenbach am Main
Schlossstraße 31, 63065 Offenbach am Main
Tel. 069.80059-0
www.hfg-offenbach.de

 

Hochschule Geisenheim University
Hochschule Geisenheim University is the 13th university of the State of Hesse and the first "new type" university in Germany. As such it combines research, teaching and practical experience in the field of special crops in viticulture and horticulture and their diverse production and processing areas. Further key programs are landscape architecture, landscape gardening and nature conservation as well as fresh produce logistics, food safety, business administration and marketing.

Currently, we have about 1,600 students studying at our campus university in the Rheingau in eight practice-oriented bachelor degree programs, each leading to a professional qualification, with one being taught in English, and nine research-based master degree programs. Our doctoral students complete their PhDs in co-operation with renowned German and foreign universities; students and scientists alike benefit from our strong international network of partners.  

In its research projects Hochschule Geisenheim University covers diverse topics along the entire value chain of special crops. This includes areas of research ranging from the development of cultivated landscapes and urban areas, to the topic of dealing with aspects of crop science relevant for growing vines and horticultural plants, and finally to production processes and quality features of special crop produce and their marketing. These research areas contribute to meeting global challenges in the agricultural and food sectors.

Hochschule Geisenheim University
Von-Lade-Straße 1
65366 Geisenheim
Tel: +49 6722 502 0
www.hs-geisenheim.de

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The dual system – German professional education in companies and vocational colleges

Dual courses have become a successful and popular route to a qualification in recent years. Closely interlocking elements of theory and practice enable employers to train staff to the specific requirements of the company and thus build up a highly qualified workforce for the long term. Constantly moving between the company and higher education or vocational college, meanwhile, enables students to apply technical knowledge immediately.
Furthermore, dual courses depend on close partnership and cooperation between the companies and vocational or higher education colleges. This kind of cooperation results in transfer of technology and knowledge between businesses and education providers.
A dual study course is generally understood to mean the combination of studying at a college of higher or vocational education (public or publicly accredited) with professional training or professional activity. Three partners cooperate on a dual course:

  •  the student
  •  the company
  •  the higher or vocational college

Jeder dieser Beteiligten steht mit den beiden anderen in Kontakt. Das Unternehmen schließt einen Each party is in contact with the other two. The company concludes a training or employment contract with the student and a cooperation contract with the college. Students switch constantly between studies and practice, i.e. between college and company. The college is likewise contractually bound to the other two parties.
The special advantage of the dual system is the intimate connection between theory and practice. Theoretical knowledge acquired by the student can immediately be put to the test. This allows businesses to recruit employees who match company requirements as closely as possible. Interlocking theoretical and practical components offer many advantages to the student, because the dual system is:

  •  flexible: Theory can immediately be applied in practice.
  •  practical: There is no ‘practical shock’ at the transition into professional life.
  •  quick: The combination of practice with theory is significantly quicker than an additional course.
  •  profitable: Tuition fees are usually covered by the company, and practical training is paid.
  •  future-proof: Graduates are usually employed by the company.

More information on dual studies in Hessen can be found at www.dualesstudium-hessen.de.