Nearly 1 in 11 students in Germany now at private universities

Nearly 1 in 11 students in Germany now at private universities

Nearly 1 in 11 students in Germany now study in one of the country’s private universities, a report has revealed.

A new report about private universities in Germany by Stifterverband found that nearly 1 in 11 German students are enrolled at private higher education institutions, making private universities in the country more popular than ever since records have been kept.

The results were published in Stifterverband’s “Private universities – developments in the area of tension between academic and social transformation” report, and found that it is mostly students who are part-time or balancing their studies with employment who prefer this option, thanks to the flexible study formats and the high degree of digitalisation that private universities provide.

Germany private higher education student numbers doubled over past 10 years

Stifterverband highlighted the fact that private universities in Germany have seen an unprecedented rate of student growth over the past 10 years, as their student numbers have doubled since 2010 until 2019.

Now, around 244,000 students (8.5% of its student body) are enrolled in one of Germany’s 106 private universities or hochschules.

Professor Zoltán Antal-Mokos, Dean of Degree Programs at the private German business school ESMT Berlin, said:

“Students who choose a private business education often want to make a career change or boost their chances of employment in their dream job.

“Private universities foster special relationships with business and industry and also invest heavily in career coaching. This pays out immediately for students upon graduation.”

48% of all part time students in Germany enrolled at a private university

Stifterverband claim this staggering rate of growth demonstrated that, contrary to popular opinion, private universities are not just a popular option amongst the country’s financially elite.

Over 90% of these institutions provide education for older, often working, part-time students. 48% of all part time, and 41% of all distance learning students, in Germany are enrolled at a private university.

The majority of students attending private institutions, almost 70%, are studying economics, law or social sciences.

A quarter of the student body attending these private institutions is made up of individuals over 30 years old.

Volker Meyer-Guckel, Deputy General Secretary of the Stifterverband, commented on the results of the report, and the ongoing need to make these institutions more accessible [translated from German]:

“In order to increase the potential of the entire university landscape, public competitive funding schemes must also be opened to private universities in the future. They must then also participate intensively.

“Overall, the results of the study show that the high degree of digitalisation and the close interlinking of science and business make private universities an attractive option. They can react more flexibly to the requirements of the job market.”

Pic: Ingo Joseph

Josephine Walbank - Reporter, Global Education Times (GET News)

Josephine Walbank is a reporter for Global Education Times (GET News) with a focus on education in the UK, Asia-Pacific, and Americas, and student experience and lifestyle news.

Josephine is an experienced journalist who previously served as the Editor-in-Chief of The Falmouth Anchor. She is also the former Deputy Editor of Voices, the Falmouth & Exeter Students’ Union’s publication, and has written for various food and lifestyle publications.

You can reach her at

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *