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News vom 09.04.2014

Huge differences in the numerus clausus rates in individual federal states, fewer admission restrictions in east German states

Students need to take the numerus clausus (NC) into account before starting their degree at their chosen HEI and this is still true for the new summer semester 2014. In its latest study, the CHE Centre for Higher Education highlights the extent to which admission restrictions differ.

Demand for places at German HEIs is continuing to strengthen: the numbers of first-year students has increased by almost half (42.7%) since 2005. To tackle the situation, HEIs often implement admission restrictions. Almost one half of all study programmes in Germany (45.5%) have a numerus clausus although there are considerable differences in the NC rates in individual German states. All east German states fall below the German average in terms of use of admission restrictions, e.g. Thuringia with 26.2%, whereas the city states Berlin, Bremen and Hamburg have an NC in place for around two-thirds of all study programmes.

This is the result of the current CHE study entitled Der CHE Numerus Clausus-Check 2013/2014. Authors Gunvald Herdin and Cort-Denis Hachmeister analysed NC data from the University Rectors' Conference Higher Education Compass (data valid as of July 2013). The analysis criteria used were federal state, HEI type, degree type and subject group.

"Federal states experiencing the biggest growth in terms of number of students also have the most admission restrictions," says CHE Managing Director Frank Ziegele. In Germany overall, every second Bachelor's programme and every third Master's programme has an NC in place. As far as the type of HEI is concerned, the percentage for universities of applied sciences is slightly higher (at 49.5%) than that for general universities (43.7%). For study subjects, 53.7% of law, economics and social science courses have an NC in place, higher than is the case for courses in mathematics, natural sciences, engineering, languages and cultural sciences.

Taking all analysis factors into account, the CHE study reveals the heterogeneity of the NC structure in Germany. In Hamburg, for example, nine out of ten courses in the mathematical-natural sciences subject group are subject to restrictions, whereas in Thuringia the case is quite the opposite: the NC rate is only 7,3% in engineering courses.

"Students find many offers without restrictions in the east German states,” said Frank Ziegele. “The huge differences between states need to be highlighted, on the one hand as part of the discussion taking place in higher education politics on the effects of increasing student numbers, and on the other hand for those who are directly affected by the NC, namely the prospective students."


Further Information can be found in the publication stated below.

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Cort-Denis Hachmeistermehr
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