Study Abroad: Top 5 universities in Germany, from TUM to Heidelberg University – Moneycontrol

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Home to some of the centuries old and legacy universities in the Europe, Germany is increasingly getting attention of international students including Indians.
Legacy university brands, inexpensive higher education, increasing focus on offering courses in English, and its vibrant economy are among a host of reasons behind the county becoming an emerging study abroad destination.
Public funded higher education in Germany is quite inexpensive, compared to other top European and American destinations. Since January 2021, if one is aspiring to study in Germany, he or she is expected to demonstrate funds of 861 euro per month or 10,332 euro per year (approximately Rs. 8.27 lakh per annum), and proof of the amount must be provided.
While international students consider streams like engineering and computer science including deep tech, pure science and medicine as favourite areas of education, areas like management, social sciences, architecture and economics are increasingly attracting attention of foreign students. Here is a list of top five universities in Germany, as ranked by the QS World University Rankings.
1.Technical University of Munich (TUM):
Ranked 49 in the world and best in Germany TUM was founded in 1868 and is a member of the TU9, an association of nine of Germany’s most prestigious technical universities.  TUM has 15 academic departments/schools and around 40,000 students on campus, of which over 30 percent are international students. The university offers 182-degree programs across levels and streams, and the Munich, where it is based, is considered one of the most student friendly cities in the world.
From being ranked 64 in 2018 edition of the QS World University Rankings, TUM has now climbed up to 49, and performs well on parameters like employers’ reputation, faculty-students ration, internationalisation and international research network parameters. In 2019, TUM was ranked as the 46th best innovative university in the world by Reuters. It stands seventh in Europe in this parameter. Across its four campuses in Germany, TUM largely does not charge tuition fees but students need to pay for rent, food, a basic semester fee.
Known for its interdisciplinary approach, the varsity is well regarded for interdisciplinary education. Its research and academic excellence span a wide diversity of fields — from the humanities and cultural studies through law, economics and social sciences to medicine and natural sciences.
In the QS world university rankings, it was placed at 59th place in the world, and has scored high in academic reputation and international research network. LMU was ranked 32 among best varsities in the world, as per THE World University Rankings 2022, another global university index. THE is a British headquartered global education ranking agency, and LMU’s rank of 32 has remained unchanged in their index for past four years. LMU has over 51000 students and its medical college is one of the best in Germany. Like TUM, this university also does not charge a tuition fee but has other expenses including living expenses.
3.Heidelberg University (Ruprecht Karl University Heidelberg): Established in 1386, Heidelberg University, also called as Ruperto Carola, is Germany’s oldest university and one of Europe’s most research-focused institutions. The public university was ranked 11 most innovative varsity in Europe in 2019 by Reuters.
Heidelberg University is a comprehensive research university. Its broad subject spectrum in 12 faculties includes the humanities, law, the social and behavioural sciences, the life sciences, medicine and the natural sciences. According QS World University 2023, Heidelberg University was ranked at 65th place among top universities in the world and offers approximately 160-degree programmes. The university caters to over 29,000 students and research scholars including almost 5200 international students.
As per the official website of this legacy university, at least 11 Nobel Prize winners taught or conducted their research as professors at Heidelberg University. And 45 other Nobel laureates’ names are associated with “either Heidelberg University or the city of Heidelberg”.
As per Shanghai Ranking of World Universities (2019), Heidelberg University is the number three in Germany and 57 worldwide. Some of the top streams of this university are clinical medicine, biotechnology, medical technology, archaeology, Physics and computer science and engineering.
4.Freie Universität Berlin
Freie Universität Berlin was founded in 1948 by professors and students, in response to the persecution faced by students who took a critical eye of the system at Universität Unter den Linden, at that time located in the Soviet sector of the divided city, according to the official website of the university.
Freie Universität is a full-spectrum university, comprising twelve departments and three Central Institutes that together offer more than 150 different academic programs in a broad range of disciplines including engineering, medicine, economics, computer science and informatics, politics, archaeology history, languages, law and legal studies and earth and marine sciences.
Since its establishment, the academic ethos of Freie Universität Berlin has always been defined by three values: truth, justice, and freedom. In the QS World University Rankings 2023, this university was placed at 118 position among the global best universities.
Founded in 1810 and currently ranked at 131 in the World University Rankings 2023 by the QS, this university offers 171-degree courses on diverse areas.
The university has identified areas like quantitative economics, life sciences with a focus on theoretical biology, neuroscience and immunobiology; mathematics, material and optical sciences, studies of the ancient world and history of science, philosophy, as well as climate and sustainability for its research activities.
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