Private University Vs Public Universities
  • Edu Zeit
  • 1 year ago

Germany is a global power well known for its high professionalism and education system. It should not be a surprise that this country is an education and international hub.

With a wide range of accredited universities filled with globally acknowledged experts, Germany has every right to be one of the best educational destinations in the world. With such a wide range of Universities, it can get a bit confusing when you need to choose the perfect university for you. 

It would help if you filtered out the universities that match your educational needs, but you also need to choose between two types of Universities; Public Universities and Private Universities. 

But which one shall you pick? Let's discuss this in detail.

Definition: Public Vs. Private university in Germany

Private University Vs. Public Universities in Germany

Source: Unsplash

A public University is simply a college or a university that the Government funds. They are generally larger than the private universities in the area and typically have slightly better facilities and amenities when compared to private universities. The government pays every employee of Public Universities. 

On the other hand, Private Universities do not receive any form of funds from the government. Because of this, every expense in the private German universities is taken from the students' tuition fees. These colleges or Universities generally have a smaller size and lower student capacity. 

Tuition Fees: Public University Vs. Private University in Germany

It should not surprise anybody that the cost of studying at a public university in Germany is low. Since the government primarily funds them, you only need to pay a small fee as a student. That said, not every public university charges the same amount. You may need to pay anywhere from €300 to €3,000 per semester. Regardless, it is still cheaper than the private German universities.

Since private universities operate entirely on student fees, the tuition fees are significantly higher. You may need to pay a base semester fee that ranges from €4,000 to €20,000. Although this may seem expensive, you should note it is still cheaper than the tuition fee in many other countries. Regardless, the education in private universities can set you back a decent amount. Therefore, you should have a proper financial backup before your studies in Germany. 

Education: Private Universities Vs. Public Universities

Private University Vs. Public Universities in Germany

Source: Unsplash

The best part about studies in Germany is that regardless of which university you go to, the quality of education doesn't change much. While the quality of education does vary depending on the university, they need to meet the criteria set by the government. 

Because of this, be it a public university in Germany or a private university, you will get a high quality of education provided by highly professional professors. 

Programs Offered: Public University Vs. Private Universities

Public Universities in Germany provide education in almost all disciplines. This includes both well-known and unknown disciplines from across the world. This includes education programs in every field, such as communication design, technology, education, math, art, applied science etc. This is because public universities have the necessary budget to support many educational programs since the government funds them. 

On the other hand, you can use only a specific range of education programs in private universities. There is a private university in Germany for just about every field. So, while the range of German courses offered is relatively narrow in a single university, you can find just about every program if you consider public universities. This is because many private universities have limited operating funds and focus on providing high-quality education on a specific spectrum of education programs within their limited budget. 

Primary Language: Public Vs. Private University

It should not be surprising that the primary language of education in a public university in Germany is German or Deutsch. Although public universities provide education in English, most programs are only available in the German Language. Therefore, you need to have a B1 level of German Language proficiency to get admission to German Public Universities. 

The good news for those who are not highly proficient in the German Language is that you can join private universities. Although you do need some german language for daily life, most private universities in Germany use English as their primary education medium. Along with this, you can also find English exclusive public German universities. In these types of universities, every course is taught in English. 

Entry Requirements: Public Universities vs. Private Universities

Private University Vs. Public Universities in Germany

Source: Unsplash

German public Universities generally have a stricter admission requirement when compared to private universities. Since they do not need to worry about the funds from the students, they can afford to have stricter admission requirements. Hence, the admission requirements for German public universities are usually higher and stricter. Furthermore, since the primary language of Public Universities in Germany is Deutsch, you also need to have a decent german language proficiency if you want to get admitted here. 

On the other hand, Private German universities generally have lax entry requirements. While they have a certain standard that you need to meet to be admitted, they will provide you with predatory education classes known as studienkollegs even if you do not meet the requirements. However, your application can still get rejected if your qualifications are not close to their requirements.

Classes Sizes: Public Vs. Private Universities

Public Universities in Germany have an average size that accommodates roughly 100 students. That said, some public universities have smaller class sizes. 

The private universities only have an average class size of around 20 to 30 students. While the class size is smaller, it also means that the teachers are more intimate with the students and can focus on each student better. 

Application Deadlines: Public Universities vs. Private Universities

Generally speaking, the admission deadlines for public universities in Germany usually fall in mid-July for the winter and mid-January for summer semesters. Although each university has the freedom to set its admission deadlines, because most public universities run a joint online application platform called UniAssist, they need to comply with the same application deadlines. 

Meanwhile, there are no restrictions on application deadlines at private universities. Depending on the private university of your choice, the admission deadline can fall at any time of the year. 

Graduation Employability: Public University Vs. Private University

Similar to the education standards, both public and private universities have the same graduate employability rate. German universities are well recognized globally. Therefore, regardless of which type of university you join or the course you take, you will have a decent chance of getting a job in a well-renowned company. 

Although organizations preferred graduates from public universities in the past, it doesn't matter nowadays. 

Scholarships: Public Vs. Private University

Private University Vs. Public Universities in Germany

Source: Unsplash

In general, public universities' offer is higher. However, the per subject scholarships are reduced because of the broader range of subjects. Along with this, there are a vast number of criteria as well. This means you generally have a higher chance of getting a scholarship in public universities. However, it is reduced drastically if you need scholarships for a particular field. 

Meanwhile, the total number of private universities' scholarships is relatively less. That said, the criteria are simple, but have strict requirements related to marks / scores.

Below is a table with a summary of the difference between Public and Private Universities in Germany. 


Public University

Private University

Tuition Fees




High grade

High grade

Programs offered

Almost all disciplines

Less subjects per university, but encompass all the subjects overall

Primary Language 



Entry Requirements



Class Sizes

Average of 100 students per class

Average of 20-30 students per class

Application Deadlines

Strict and has a pattern

Lax and depends on the university


Overall higher amount 

Less quantity with specific requirements


In the end, there is no clear winner between Public and Private universities in Germany. It all depends on your needs and requirements. If you require a good education in a cheap university with state-of-the-art facilities and can deal with large groups of people, then Public Universities are the best for you. 

However, suppose you can afford to pay a few thousand euros per month and want to get high-quality education in a university without many people. In that case, public universities are the best for you. 

That said, before you apply for education in Germany, you should fulfill all the requirements. This includes having a German Health Insurance, Blocked Accounts, and Graduation Documents. At the same time, confirming your education choice is also necessary. 

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