HomeEducation and Research in Germany

Education and Research in Germany

The system for education and research in the Federal Republic of Germany is complex and distributed among actors of the so-called Bund (Federation) and the Federal States.

Most of the specific information concerning education and research in Germany is provided by several institutions responsible for their respective and specific areas. Kooperation international gives an overview by featuring a commented list of links to relevant institutions and information resources.


1.1 Institutions

  • German Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF)
    Education and research are a Federal Government policy priority, which is reflected in the development of the funding it is making available to these fields. The BMBF works to promote the talent of tomorrow. Regardless of whether it’s initial job training or continuing education, lifelong learning or new technologies – the BMBF website provides information on educational policies and research facilities in Germany.
  • German academic exchange service (DAAD)
    The German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD) is one of the world′s largest intermediary organisations in its field, supporting over 100,000 German and international students und researchers around the globe each year. The DAAD also promotes internationalisation efforts at German universities, promotes German studies and the German language abroad and assists developing countries in establishing effective universities. The DAAD website provides information on various study programmes and scholarships.
  • Kultusministerkonferenz (KMK)
    The Standing Conference of the Ministers of Education and Cultural Affairs is the oldest conference of ministers in Germany and plays a significant role as an instrument for the coordination and development of education in the country. KMK provides for a web page outlining basic structures in the German educational system.
  • German University Rectors' Conference (Hochschulrektorenkonferenz)
    The German Rectors' Conference/Hochschulrektorenkonferenz (HRK) is the voluntary association of state and state-recognised universities in Germany. The HRK is the political and public voice of universities and provides a forum for the process of forming joint policies and practices. It addresses all manner of topics related to universities: research, teaching and learning, continuing professional education for academics, knowledge and technology transfer, international cooperation and internationalisation at home, as well as administrative self-management.
  • Higher Education Compass
    The search application provided by the German Rectors' Conference comprises Higher Education Institutes, Degree Programmes and Doctoral Studies.
  • Eduserver - Education in Germany
    Eduserver, the English language version of the German Education Server, provides access and background information regarding the German education system and its international context. The portal is provided by the Leibniz Institute for Research and Information in Education (DIPF).
  • Alumniportal Deutschland
    The Alumniportal Deutschland is a social network designed to promote networking and sharing of information among Germany-Alumni, companies, universities and organisations. It offers its users the opportunity to get in touch with Germany-Alumni from around the world as well as companies in order to discuss specialist issues, develop their skills and benefit from the expertise of others.

1.2 International Academic Programmes and Courses

1.3 Vocational Training

  • German Office for International Cooperation in Vocational Education and Training (GOVET)
    GOVET is an essential component of the strategy of the Federal Government to move towards greater cohesion in international vocational education and training cooperation by delivering services from a single source. GOVET provides specialist support to the Federal Government and acts as the main cooperation partner in vocational education training for national and international stakeholders.
  • iMOVE Training - Made in Germany
    iMOVE’s objective is to promote international collaboration and the initiation of cooperation and business relationships in vocational training and continuing education. iMOVE is an initiative of the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF). iMOVE is part of the international division at the Federal Institute for Vocational Education and Training (BIBB) in Bonn.
  • Bundesinstitut für Berufsbildung (BIBB) 

    The Federal Institute for Vocational Education and Training (BIBB) is recognised as a centre of excellence for vocational research and for the progressive development of vocational education and training (VET) in Germany. BIBB works to identify future challenges in VET, stimulate innovation in national and international vocational systems, and develop new, practice-oriented solutions for both initial and continuing vocational education and training.

  • Pädagogischer Austauschdienst (PAD) 
    The Pädagogischer Austauschdienst is the sole public organisation in Germany working on behalf of the Federal States to promote international exchange and cooperation in the school sector. The PAD is a department of the Secretariat of the Standing Conference of the Ministers of Education and Cultural Affairs of the Länder in the Federal Republic of Germany (Kultusministerkonferenz):


  • Research in Germany - Land of Ideas
    The “Research in Germany” portal is an information platform and contact point for all looking to find out more about Germany's research landscape and its latest research achievements. One key goal of the portal is to provide an overview of the research and funding opportunities in Germany.
  • GERiT – German Research Institutions
    GERiT provides an overview of 29,000 research institutions in Germany, with institutional profiles, job vacancies, the doctoral regulations for specific institutions and subject areas, and links to DFG-funded projects. GERiT replaces the Research Explorer.
  • German Research Foundation (DFG)
    The DFG is the self-governing organisation for science and research in Germany. It serves all branches of science and the humanities. Its membership consists of German research universities, non-university research institutions, scientific associations and the Academies of Science and the Humanities. One of the DFG's main responsibilities is to support international cooperation in research. The most important aim of the DFG's international activities is to intensify international cooperation between researchers, scientific and academic institutions and funding organisations and to systematically identify and utilise new potential for cooperation. The DFG is a member of several scientific and science policy associations at European and international level.
  • Alexander von Humboldt Foundation
    The Foundation promotes academic cooperation between excellent scientists and scholars from abroad and from Germany. Research fellowships and research awards allow coming to Germany to work on a research project with a host and collaborative partner. As an intermediary organisation for German foreign cultural and educational policy the Foundation promotes international cultural dialogue and academic exchange.
  • Research Landscape
    Overview offered by the Research in Germany website: research performing organisations, facts and figures, maps, rankings and R&D policy framework
  • "Your goal" - Research career and funding opportunities for international researchers
    Overview offered by the Research in Germany website for international researchers considering a research stay in Germany


National Academic Contact Point Ukraine

The website bundles information for Ukrainian students and researchers on residence, university admission, studies and research, and everyday life in Germany. It is available in German, Ukrainian and English. Moreover, the website offers a platform to publicise the wide range of support offered by German science institutions in a bundled and structured way.


Reports on International Research Cooperation in Education, Science and Research

Since the Internationalisation Strategy was launched in 2017, the Reports of the Federal Government on International Cooperation
in Education, Science and Research regularly outline the progress made in achieving the goals contained in the strategy and in implementing the European Research Area (ERA) Strategy.
2019-2020 report -  Political summary

Reports on Research, Innovation and Technological Performance in Germany

The annual reports of the Commission of Experts for Research and Innovation (EFI) provide an analysis of the German innovation system in an international and temporal comparison, evaluate Germany's perspectives as a location for research and innovation, and present proposals for a national research and innovation policy.
2022 summary
2021 summary | full report
2020 summary | full report
2019 summary | full report
2018 summary | full report
2017 summary | full report

National Reports on Education

The national reports on education present a major empirical review which covers the entire German education system. Published every two years, each report provides indicator-based information about the general conditions, features, results and output of education processes. The reports are jointly commissioned by the Standing Conference of the Ministers of Education and Cultural Affairs (KMK) and the Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF). The reports 2018 and 2020 are available in German language only (as of January 2021).
2016 report summary
2014 report summary

Web resources

Research in Germany

The “Research in Germany” portal is an information platform and contact point for all looking to find out more about Germany's research landscape and its latest research achievements.

GERiT – German Research Institutions

GERiT, a service of DFG, HRK and DAAD, provides an overview of 29,000 research institutions with institutional profiles, job vacancies, doctoral regulations for specific institutions and subject areas, and links to DFG-funded projects.

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