My answer to this question is that it depends. German universities are generally not easier or more difficult than similar universities elsewhere in the world. (This is based on feedback from many people who have studied there. Some find it difficult, some find it easy)
First of all, it is necessary to get to know Germany’s university education system. In Germany, there are no restrictions for university entrance except for some nationally restricted departments (such as Medicine, Pharmacy, Dentistry, Veterinary Medicine, etc.) and locally restricted departments. This means that any German or EU citizen with an Abitur diploma can apply to university and does not need to take an additional exam. As a result, some departments have a very high number of students, especially in the first year.
The German university system does not believe, as in the US, the UK or even in Turkey, that its enrolled students “already deserve to study” in the bachelor’s or master’s degree programs they are studying (I know that’s a bit complicated). In short, they accept applications from anyone who wants to apply and then eliminate the rotten apples.
German universities accept that all their students are adults (the Abitur diploma from high school is a maturity diploma) and expect them to take care of themselves. There is none of the possessive and embracing attitude of British and American universities. Traditionally and in principle, every student is viewed as a research student or potential researcher. Students may or may not be able to adapt to this situation. And students who do not fit in do not bother universities. This is why dropout rates in some departments are over 50 percent.
In fact, the main reason why German universities are characterized as difficult is the quality and length of education in the German high school (Gymnasium) system. As a standard, a German who starts university in Germany starts university after studying for 13 years, not 12. In terms of the quality of education received, this corresponds to the 2nd grade level for the universities of many countries. As such, undergraduate education in Germany is actually not undergraduate but graduate level programs.
In short, the only way for students who have completed their high school education outside Germany to get an excellent education in Germany is to work hard. Curricula are defined and prerequisites are set for each program. If you think you cannot meet the prerequisites, do not get involved in that program. If you can organize yourself and maintain some self-discipline, studying in Germany is not a dream. If you need the information pre-organized and delivered to you on a platter, then Universities in Germany are not for you, whether you are an above average student or not. Read this article if you want to know which are the particularly difficult courses.
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