New HRK data: Further slight drop in admission restrictions

15. December 2016

Admission restrictions at German universities have again fallen slightly, despite continuing high demand for study places. This was revealed by the latest statistics from the German Rectors' Conference (HRK).

Of over 10,000 undergraduate courses, 45.2 per cent had restricted entry as of the 2016/2017 winter semester. The previous year’s figure was 46.1 per cent, and in the 2014/2015 winter semester the figure was as high as 49.5 per cent. There are still major discrepancies between the federal states, however. The percentage of courses with admission restrictions is particularly high in Hamburg (75.1 per cent), Baden-Württemberg (62.2 per cent) and the Saarland (62.0). Thuringia has the most favourable proportion by far, at 10.2 per cent.

Looking at the standard duration of degree programmes at universities of applied science, it continues to be the case that well over half (59.6 per cent) of bachelor's courses have a standard duration of seven or eight semesters. At other universities, in contrast, six-semester bachelor's courses dominate, at over 93 per cent.

At present more than 91 per cent of courses lead to the award of bachelor's and master's degrees; the remainder lead mainly to state or church qualifications. Looking at graduates, the proportion of those who graduate with a bachelor’s or master's degree is now almost 80 per cent.

The HRK publication was based on information provided by the universities about their degree programmes that they had entered into the HRK database as at 1 September as well as additional statistical material. Statistical Data on Study Opportunities at Universities in Germany – Winter Semester 2016/2017 is available online at (in German only). The print version appears as part of the HRK series "Statistiken zur Hochschulpolitik" (Statistics on Higher Education Policy) and can be ordered free of charge from: