Hessen is home to some of Europe's leading universities and research institutions, all of which are within easy reach of the Frankfurt area. The 12 public institutions of higher education in Hessen are located in Darmstadt, Gießen, Frankfurt, Fulda, Kassel, Marburg, Offenbach and Wiesbaden and include five universities, five universities of applied sciences (Fachhochschulen) and two universities of music and art. All the institutions welcome international students. While the standard working language is German, increasingly courses are being offered in English.
German universities are all in the midst of reform as required by the EU-mandated Bologna process. Among other things, universities have introduced the internationally-recognized bachelors and masters degrees (replacing the Diplom) in all academic disciplines. At the same time, both the federal and state governments have increased funding. In Frankfurt, for example, new campuses have been constructed in Westend and Riedberg (north of the city) over the last several years and will replace nearly all of the run-down facilities in Bockenheim by the end of 2013. University study in Hessen is tuition free for both German and international students. There is an administrative charge of up to 300 euros per semester, but this includes a public transportation ticket valid for the entire state of Hessen. For more information about the university landscape in Hessen, consult www.study-in-hessen.de
During the summer, several universities in Hessen offer short programs for international students. Each program has its own thematic focus, and seminars in English or German are offered on topics such as politics, business, economics, law, society, culture, engineering and the sciences. For more information, consult www.isu-hessen.de
The Frankfurt University, also known as Goethe University, has 16 academic faculties ranging from life sciences to humanities and social sciences. It offers a large variety of bachelors, masters and doctoral programs in both German and English. Currently 41,000 students are matriculated, including 6,000 international students. In addition to the public universities, there are a range of internationally-oriented programs from private universities. Here is a brief overview of your options in higher education.