International friend group in Berlin


Germany is known worldwide for its education system. Here you can find out how the German education system works.

Your children are well looked after

Parents can go about their professional occupations with commitment and focus without worrying about their little ones. In November 2022, more than 59,323 public and private day care facilities were available in Germany. Child care in Germany begins at an early age: In 2022 more than one third of the children aged 0 to 3 were supervised in a day-care facility, so their parents would be able to pursue their career aspirations. In the age group of 3 to 6 years, which includes schoolchildren as well, the proportion of all children looked after was as high as 93 per cent.

Child care is also firmly anchored in integration and inclusion. In 2022 more than 37 per cent of care facilities were kindergartens with integrative care. For children with disabilities, a total of 229 facilities were available.

Education for everyone

The German education and training system is world-renowned. In the 2020-2021 school year, around 32,000 schools throughout Germany gave all children of school age access to education. Around half of them (47.9%) were primary schools. At the secondary education level, there were numerous Hauptschulen (5.6%), Realschulen (5.5%) and Gymnasien (9.8%). After successfully completing your schooling, you have the possibility of either embarking on a vocational training course or enrol at one of Germany’s 422 higher education establishments. Approximately a quarter of them (25.6%) are conventional universities and about half of them (49.8%) are universities of applied sciences with a more practical focus. German higher education institutions score points with their broad choice of subjects. They offer all kinds of courses, from A for Archaeology to Z for Zoology.

International students are drawn to STEM subjects

It is a well-known fact that you can study and do research effectively and (generally) free of charge in Germany. This is why an increasing number of international students are coming to Germany. 48,578 international students successfully completed their studies in 2019. 55 per cent of them studied one of the STEM subjects (science, technology, engineering and mathematics), which are highly in demand on the labour market. Moreover, international university graduates make an important contribution to covering the need for qualified professionals in Germany, as long as they stay and work in the country for a while after graduating.

Trainees from third countries also come to Germany

Besides the large number of higher education institutions, another typical feature of the German education landscape is the dual education system. 5,345 international trainees from countries outside the EU came to Germany to undertake basic and advanced in-company training in 2021. Including trainees from EU states who can enter Germany without a visa under the agreement on free movement of persons, the number is even higher. Since 2015, trainees from third countries can apply for a visa enabling them to do qualification courses in preparation for training even while their diplomas are going through the recognition procedure. This is good news for the German economy, since businesses are facing problems in finding qualified workers, as well as applicants for apprenticeships/traineeships. International trainees can therefore make a crucial contribution to covering the need for qualified professionals.

Information on the web

  1. The Standing Conference of the Ministers of Education and Cultural Affairs The Education System in the Federal Republic of Germany
  2. Federal Ministry for Family Affairs, Senior Citizens, Women and Youth Information about child care in Germany

Do you have any questions?

Let us advise you on your opportunities to work and live in Germany. Our experts will support you with questions regarding job search, visa, recognition and learning German. 

You can find out more about the various contact options by clicking on one of the icons in the bar below.

Smiling young woman working on her laptop at work
Skyline of Hamburg