An offer from the Federal Institute for Vocational Education and Training Further info

High­er ed­u­ca­tion qual­i­fi­ca­tions

For cer­tain pro­fes­sions you must have a for­eign high­er ed­u­ca­tion qual­i­fi­ca­tion recog­nised in Ger­many. For oth­er pro­fes­sions you can have your high­er ed­u­ca­tion qual­i­fi­ca­tion as­sessed.

Answers to the following questions are provided here:

  • When do I have to have my higher education qualification recognized?
  • How do I find out how my higher education qualification is rated?
  • What is the anabin database for?
  • What is a statement of comparability?
  • How can I study in Germany?

 

Recognition of higher education qualifications

Germany has so-called regulated professions and regulated professions. If you have a foreign higher education qualification for a regulated professions you are required in each case to apply for recognition.

Regulated professions include medical practitioners, engineers and teachers. Find out which professions are regulated in the Recognition Finder. A list of all regulated professions in German is available from the European Commission website.

 

Assessment of higher education qualifications

Do you have a foreign higher education qualification and would you like to work in a non-regulated profession in Germany? Non-regulated professions include, for example, biologists, mathematicians and economists.

If you already have a residence permit in Germany or come from the EU/EEA/Switzerland, you can work in your profession without recognition. Also, you do not necessarily need an assessment of your higher education qualification, though this may be helpful, for example, when applying for a job.

However, if you want to enter Germany from a third country, you must be able to prove that your higher education qualification is comparable with a German higher education qualification. You can find out whether your higher education qualification is comparable in the anabin database.

anabin database

In the anabin database, you can check how your university and higher education qualification are evaluated in Germany. Both evaluations are important. This is because your higher education qualification is only regarded as comparable if all three of the following requirements are met:

  • The university is listed in the anabin database and rated H+ or H+/-.
  • The higher education qualification is equivalent to or corresponds to a German higher education qualification.
  • If the university is rated H+/-, the higher education qualification must also be listed under the university.

The anabin database can be found on the website of the Central Office for Foreign Education (ZAB). Instructions for using the anabin database can be found under “Further information”.

Statement of Comparability

What happens if your university or your higher education qualification are not listed in the anabin database, or they do not have the appropriate rating? In this case you can have your higher education qualification assessed. For this, you must apply to the ZAB for a Statement of Comparability. The Statement of Comparability is an official document which records the quality of your higher education qualification. The Statement of Comparability describes your foreign higher education qualification and certifies the options for its use for professional and academic purposes.

Various documents are needed for a Statement of Comparability and these may vary depending on the country of origin. In general, the following documents must be submitted as copies and in some cases in certified form:

  • Certificate of completion for the higher education qualification in the original language
  • List of subjects and grades for the entire degree
  • School-leaving certificate with higher education entrance qualification
  • Written confirmation of the form and duration of the degree
  • Final certificates for previous degrees in the original language

Passport or personal identification

If all documents are complete and available, the Statement of Comparability generally takes three months. The Statement of Comparability costs €200 and each subsequent certificate costs €100. The application form and further information about the Statement of Comparability are available on the ZAB website.

The entries in the anabin database and the Statement of Comparability do not replace the recognition procedure for regulated professions.

 

Foreign academic degrees

A foreign academic degree may be used in Germany using its original name. Its conversion into a German academic degree is only possible for ethnic German resettlers. Further information regarding the use of foreign academic degrees is available on the website of the Central Office for Foreign Education (ZAB).

 

Higher education courses in Germany

You are able to continue with a higher education course started abroad in Germany. The institute of higher education or the state examination office take the decision regarding recognition of your higher education and examination performances to date. It is best to contact the institute of higher education you have selected directly for information. The international student's office is responsible for this.

Would you like to start a higher education course in Germany? If so, your school-leaving certificate from your country of origin must entitle you to access higher education in Germany. And you must have recognition for this school-leaving certificate. The recognised school-leaving certificate then becomes your so-called higher education entrance qualification. With this you are permitted to study in Germany. A “Studienkolleg” (preparatory course) prepares foreign students without this recognised school-leaving certificate for study in Germany. In order to start a bachelor's programme, two to three preceding semesters are required in the country of origin

In Germany, a professional qualification may also entitle you to access higher education, for example a higher education course in the area of your vocational training. You may also be able to sit an entrance examination for a higher education course. Your professional qualification also allows you to apply to a preparatory course.

Find out about the options available to you in the anabin database of the Central Office for Foreign Education (ZAB). The website of the German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD) provides information about selected countries.

How do I find an institute of higher education? How do I apply for a course? Do I need a visa? Answers to these questions and further information can be found on the website “Study in Germany”.

 

University Educational Guidance Guarantee Fund (Bildungsberatung Garantiefonds Hochschule)

Are you under 30? If so, you can contact the University Educational Guidance Guarantee Fund (GF-H). This provides advice and support if you are starting a course in Germany or wish to continue with the course. Refugees and ethnic German resettlers are also able to apply to the GF-H educational guidance service for financial support. Financial support is available for example for language courses, special training courses and courses at a Studienkolleg (preparatory course). Further information is available on the website of the GF-H educational guidance service.

The German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD) awards scholarships to international students, graduates and researchers from abroad.