New HRK data: Slight fall in admission restrictions – major differences between federal states

15. December 2015

The proportion of admission-restricted courses for new students fell during the current winter semester compared with last year: from 49.5% to 46.1%. This was revealed by an evaluation of the figures in the Higher Education Compass by the German Rectors' Conference (HRK).

"With the help of the Higher Education Pact, the efforts of the universities to make places available to as many applicants as possible have had an effect," commented HRK President Prof. Dr. Horst Hippler in Berlin today.

With the exception of the Saarland, the number of admission restrictions has fallen throughout Germany. However, in Hamburg it is still just over 80% and in Baden-Württemberg, Bremen, Lower Saxony and the Saarland it is over 60%. In the five eastern federal states the proportion of subjects with admission restrictions is consistently below average, being lowest in Thuringia at 12.8%. However, Bavaria (31.6%), Rhineland-Palatinate (32.1%) and Hesse (43.5%) are also below average. "The reasons for this are different," said the HRK President. "The different finance policies of the federal states and the degree of demand among potential students are the decisive factors."

"We are seeing continued demand for study places. The number of students has increased again," Hippler noted. "Combined with challenges such as the anticipated high number of refugees with an interest in studying or the development of special study opportunities, for example for part-time students, the pressure on universities is likely to continue."

HRK statistics show a good 18 000 courses for the current semester, including approximately 8300 bachelor's and 8100 master's programmes. Over 90% of courses today therefore result in a bachelor's or master's degree, with the rest resulting in state or church qualifications. The proportion of graduates who graduate with a bachelor's or master's degree is now nearly 76%.

The HRK has once again compiled the data on degree programmes, students and graduates in a publication. The data provided by universities on their degree programmes, which is added to the HRK database, and other statistical material was evaluated for this purpose. "Statistical Data on Study Opportunities at Universities in Germany – Winter Semester 2015/2016“ is available online at The printed version appears as part of the HRK series "Statistiken zur Hochschulpolitik" (Statistics on Research and Higher Education Policy) and can be ordered free of charge from