What is Uni-Assist?
If you are looking for a “Bachelor’s” or “Master’s” degree in Germany, one of the links you will see most often is uni-assist.de. There are more than 400 independent universities in Germany. With so many universities and so many applications from foreign students, some universities agreed that instead of allocating additional resources to review the applications, they should establish a foundation to evaluate them, and this is how Uni-Assist was born.
It was founded in 2003 with the cooperation of 41 German universities and initially supported by DAAD – Deutscher Akademischer Austauschdienst (German Academic Exchange Service). UniAssist is not an institution that gives admissions like our ÖSYM (Hochschulstart does this job in Germany). UniAssist is only an institution that pre-inspects and verifies your application conditions in accordance with the laws of the states in which the universities are affiliated. Admission is left to the universities’ discretion.
Since its inception, more and more universities have begun to use Uni-Assist for the preliminary evaluation of their applications. At this point, more than 180 universities in Germany are working with Uni-Assist. Some schools may limit their work to some partial programs. You can search on this website whether the school and program of your choice is a member of Uni-Assist, or you can also check on the website of the university you want to apply to whether the university is a member of Uni-Assist.
In general, Uni-Assist is the choice of many universities to verify HZB (see What is HZB?), VPD (see What is VPD?). (Some still prefer to do it themselves. Therefore, read the website of the university you want to apply to carefully.)
The main responsibility of Uni-Assist is to evaluate foreign school-leaving certificates and determine their equivalence to German educational standards. The rules for this evaluation are available on the “Anabin” website. Click here for detailed instructions on how to use the Anabin website.
Uni-Assist’s services also include the verification of candidates’ institution-specific entry requirements according to the member universities’ own statutes. To summarize, uni-assist does the following
- Assesses whether your educational certificates meet the general requirements for university study in Germany (HZB).
- Converts the applicant’s transcripts into the German grading system (VPD)
- Assesses your compliance with the specific admission criteria of member universities.
- Offers university options to prospective students depending on the procedures.
- Stores all data and documents required for the admission procedures of the universities in its online portal.
- Informs the applicant about the evaluation result.
The main advantage of using Uni-assist is that applicants only need to submit each document once, even if they want to apply to more than one university.
Who should apply with UniAssist?
If your university requires you to apply for a Bachelor’s or Master’s degree, you need to apply for the Staatsexamen (State Exam) or Preparatory School here. You may be hearing the concept of “State Exam” for the first time, but let me explain it like this: In Germany, some departments (Medicine, Dentistry, Pharmacy, Veterinary Medicine, etc.) require centralized exams during your studies. Here’s how it works: Students studying in these departments are required to take several central exams valid throughout the country during their studies and prove their knowledge to continue their studies. Those who fail the exam are referred to other departments.
What are Uni-Assist Application Stages and What is DoSV?
Uni-Assist has a very detailed and explanatory web page. You have a bilingual (German – English) option. You need to be a member of the portal before applying. You can easily sign up on the website. Let’s say you are going to apply for a bachelor’s degree program, you have identified the university and the program you will apply to; you have confirmed your university entrance qualification (see: What is HZB?). Check carefully which documents are required by the school you will apply to. See if there is a VPD requirement. (See What is VPD?) If it is required, the VPD process can take a long time, so it is useful to apply in advance. If you are applying for a master’s program, VPD may be a requirement for you, so check thoroughly. Remember that the earlier you can apply, the better.
Another thing that should not be overlooked in undergraduate applications is that some programs are subject to DoSV (central placement). The German university placement committee (Hochschulstart) has decided to follow the applications with a central placement system because of the intense interest in some programs. Actually, I think it is a very logical system. Since the schools make their own choices, a candidate can be accepted from more than one school. While the candidate is making a choice, the rights of other candidates are lost and quotas may remain empty. To prevent this, in some programs you may be asked to make a preference ranking for the schools you apply to. After your first acceptance according to your preference ranking, the schools in your lower ranked preferences are notified and your application in those schools is canceled. However, you still have the chance to receive admission from your higher priority preferences.
What is the deadline for the Uni-assist application?
Deadlines vary by universities but can be easily checked on the schools’ websites. Normally, the following 2 deadlines are used but there are exceptions:
For programs starting in the winter semester: the deadline is July 15
For programs starting in the summer: deadline January 15
Note: Some universities have earlier deadlines for certain programs, such as master’s programs. Check on the school’s website.
Once you have activated your university application on the uni-assist online portal, applying is as easy as shopping online. You select the programs you want and add them to the cart (“Selection List”). In the My Selection List menu you can see the programs you want to apply for, how much you have to pay and the application documents.
I strongly recommend that you send the documents to uni-asist and pay the application fee at least 8 weeks before the deadline so that they can inform you if there are missing documents.
What are Uni-Assist Application Documents?
Check the documents requested by the universities strictly from their websites (note that different universities may request different documents)
Do not send the originals of your official documents and certificates required for German university applications to Uni-Assist or the universities. The originals will be presented during registration. If you send them wrongly, it will be quite a problem to get them out again. I have known many people who sent them wrongly and had many problems afterwards. Be careful. If the originals of the documents you need to send are not in English or German (Well, mine is also a question?), you need a certified translation. After translating the documents, you need to copy 1 set for Uni-Assist, as many copies as the number of universities you will apply for universities that receive direct applications and get approval as original. It can be stamped and signed by a notary public or the relevant institution (wet signature is a must). German consulates and honorary consuls also provide this service free of charge; ( “Beglaubigungen” )
Application fee at Uni-asist
After uploading your documents to the portal, it is time to pay. Your first application is 75 Euro and each subsequent application is charged at 30 Euro (2021 prices). These fees cover the registration, processing and evaluation of your documents and training certificates, regardless of the results of this application. If you apply for a new semester, it will be treated as a first application and you will be charged 75 euros for the first selection.
You can pay with your credit card or use some money transfer companies to avoid the exchange rate difference. Wise stands out as the company that offers the most favorable euro rate. As a free member from this link I have given to the site, you can transfer up to the first 500 Euros without commission. You do not have to pay any fee for membership.
After your payment confirmation, you need to put the signed copies of your documents in an envelope and mail them to Uni-Assit. I do not recommend you to use national postal service, if possible use a transportation company like DHL, Fedex, TNT. You can check if the documents have arrived via the portal. Then, depending on the school, you are waiting for your VPD document to arrive or you need to make an additional application on the school’s website. Since the process may work differently for each school, careful follow-up is necessary, it is not possible to write something general here, but Uni-Assist will guide you, follow-up is important.
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