What is the Studienbrücke?

Studierende lernen © Getty Images/Foto: Frank Lukasseck

The Studienbrücke is a programme designed for pupils who have achieved excellent marks at school in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (the STEM subjects) and who have a command of German. It gives them linguistic and subject-matter-specific language preparation for studying in Germany and introduces them to the teaching and learning culture in Germany.

Until now, pupils from most non-European countries were not permitted to begin studying at a German university immediately after leaving school. They had to either spend one to two years studying at a university in their home countries, or take a foundation course at a Studienkolleg in Germany. Now that the federal state of North Rhine-Westphalia has begun offering an alternative route to higher education, allowing prospective students to take a scholastic aptitude test, university applicants can embark directly on a course of study. This is dependent on their successful completion of the Studienbrücke preparatory course in their home countries. The programme fully prepares pupils wishing to study in Germany by offering them a combination of language courses and tests (TestDaF and TestAS including preparation), STEM courses, intercultural training courses and academic guidance counselling.
 
Each year, German partner universities make a certain number of places available for Studienbrücke participants. They provide the new students with comprehensive support both at the start of and during their studies. Students who successfully complete the preparatory programme can apply directly to one of the universities.

The Studienbrücke has been run successfully in Russia, Ukraine, Georgia and Kazakhstan since 2015. The programme will be extended to include other countries from 2018. The pilot project in the Eastern Europe/Central Asia region was developed in cooperation with the University Alliance Ruhr and is supported by the DAAD.