Whether you’re looking for further education or a bachelor’s or master’s degree, many universities in Germany offer online courses of study. Kim Berg reports
Studying online at a distance-learning university
The FernUniversität Hagen is the only state university that offers exclusively distance-learning courses. With around 76,000 students, it is also the largest university in Germany. It offers ten bachelor’s degree courses and 15 master’s degree courses. The study material is available online or, if necessary, can be sent anywhere in the world by post.
Another major provider of distance-learning courses is the University of Applied Sciences in Wismar, with its online unit called WINGS-Fernstudium. The company mainly offers courses of study for employed adults. Students take exams either at different locations in Germany and Austria or worldwide, for example at Goethe Institutes. The educational opportunities vary from advanced training in unusual programmes like e-sport management to traditional master’s degree courses like industrial engineering and management.
Studying online at a (traditional) brick and mortar university
Not only distance-learning universities offer online courses. Many brick and mortar universities now also have virtual courses of study in their programmes. For example, Freie Universität Berlin offers an online master’s degree in international relations, and at the University of Freiburg students can take an MSc in solar energy engineering. Many online courses at traditional universities are designed for foreign students and are therefore conducted mainly in English.
How distance learning works
Students receive the teaching material for online studies via the internet or by post. Lectures and seminars take place online, either via live lectures, video conferences or with the help of videos and podcasts that can be accessed at any time on the website. The distance-learning students take their exams either online or at local examination centres.
Information on the various courses of study for international students is also provided by the German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD). It is the world’s largest funding organization in the international exchange of students and scientists.