Berlin Travel Guide

Studying In Berlin

In terms of student numbers, the biggest university in Berlin is the city’s Freie Universitat Berlin. Established in 1948 as an offshoot from the city’s Humboldt Universitat by members of the university – who felt stifled by the communist strictures of the time –  Freie Universitat Berlin soon outgrew its mother university, as many students and faculty were attracted to its more liberal (and therefore stimulating) academic experience.

The university has teaching departments for Mathematics and computer science, philosophy and the humanities, psychology and pedagogy, business and economics, Biological sciences, veterinary medicine, law, and medicine, which is taught at the nearby Charite hospital. The free University of Berlin is found on Habelschwerdter Allee 45, 14195 Berlin, Germany. For more information on Berlin’s Freie University, visit its website – or call it on its pilot phone number +49 30 838-1.

Berlin’s Humboldt Universitat is the second largest university in the city and probably the most famous in terms of alumni. Some of the big names that have graced its campus – a student, professor or both – include Karl Marx, the father of socialism (which later inspired  communism); Friedrich Engels and GWF Hegel, both prominent philosophers; and Albert Einstein, one of the greatest thinkers of our times.

Founded in early 19th century when Berlin was under Prussian control, the university is named after its founder – Humboldt. The intellectual growth of Humboldt University was greatly disturbed during the Cold War, as it is in one of the parts of Berlin that fell under communist control, but it has since fully recovered and regained its position as one of the most renowned universities in Europe. The university has departments for agriculture and horticulture, mathematics and natural sciences, law, economics and business studies – as well as a whopping four departments of philosophy, which cover philosophy in its widest sense.  For more information on the university, visit its website (

The city’s Technische Universitat is famed for the many technological innovations they have helped put forth. Founded in the 1879, the university put a great emphasis on technical studies, with its specialized schools in Mechanical engineering and transport systems, electrical engineering and computer science, process sciences and engineering – among others. The quality and quantity of research here is remarkable, with achievements that include a total of 8 Nobel prizes in various fields by the faculty. Technische Universtat is located at Strasse des 17. Juni 135, D-10623 Berlin, Germany.  For more information on Berlins Technical University, visit its website or call it on phone number +49 30 314-0.

Then there is the Universitat der Kunste Berlin, that is, the Berlin University of Arts – a premier institution dedicated to the study of the arts – with specialized colleges of fine arts, architecture, design, music, media and performing arts. Universitat der Kunste Berlin is found on Postfach 12 05 44, D-10595 Berlin, Germany. For more information on Berlin’s university of arts, visit its website or call it on its pilot telephone number +49 30 3185 – 0.

Competition for admission into Berlin’s universities is stiff – and the acceptance rates for a university like the city’s Freie Universitat Berlin are as low as 20% each year, out of the many people who submit applications to be considered. In addition to the four state universities, Berlin also has many private technical and professional colleges spread throughout the city. The beauty of Germany’s higher education is that the programs are synchronized, making it relatively easy to transfer from institution to institution.

State sponsored education in Berlin is basically free, though some nominal fees are charged at many institutions. Attempts to introduce regular tuition fees have been met with strong resistance from the student bodies; but the trend of charging (albeit low) tuition fees is fast taking root, as many commentators argue that German students are being ‘left behind’ the rest of the world due to its free education policy, which leaves the institutions strained for cash.  While tuition is basically free or heavily subsidized, student (or their parents) usually pay for room and food costs, which can be quite substantial.

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