Foundation Course (in German “Studienkolleg”) or sometimes called a “Foundation Year”: is an academic bridge that links different academic cultures globally (different higher education diplomas/different school graduation certificates) with the higher educational institutions in Germany. The main reason for this bridge is the school graduation certificate from your home country is not enough for direct entry into a course of study at German universities.
Studienkolleg aims to adjust your higher education entrance qualification (e.g. school graduation certificate) of your home country to be eligible to the academic culture in Germany. Thus, you can enter full German universities to study successfully.
The Foundation Course will prepare you within two semesters for your chosen study program/program “specialization” both from a language as well as a technical point of view. It is required that international students master the relevant language of science and education. During this course, you will undergo (intensive) German language training and at the same time take selected course modules from your chosen course of studies. As a result, you will not only be improving your German language skills but you will also be already learning some of the study content and important technical terms belonging to your chosen specialization.
Depending on your chosen course of study “specialization”, you are required to attend one of the following Studienkolleg courses:
Studienkollegs are either affiliated with 1) Universities or 2) Universities of Applied Sciences.
1) Studienkollegs affiliated with a university “University Studienkollegs”.
If you have completed this kind of Studientkolleg and successfully passed the university qualification exam (in German called “Feststellungsprüfung”), you are eligible to study at any university or university of applied sciences in Germany.
2) Studienkollegs affiliated with a university applied sciences “Applied Science Studienkollegs”.
If you have completed this kind of Studientkolleg and successfully passed the “Feststellungsprüfung”, you are eligible to study at a university of applied sciences in Germany but not at university.
Concerning different kinds of Studienkollegs, there are two kinds of Studienkollegs
1) Public “State-run Studienkollegs” and 2) Private Studienkollegs.
|VERY IMPORTANT NOTES !!
Before applying to public or private Foundation Course “Studienkolleg” you should make sure that:
❖ You are attending a proper Studienkolleg-course.
❖ Your certificate after finishing Studienkolleg is valid for your chosen course of study “specialization”.
❖ Your certificate after finishing Studienkolleg is valid for all universities or only for universities of applied sciences in Germany.
As an international student strives to participate in a public foundation course “Studienkolleg” he or she must also successfully pass an entrance exam.
Passing this exam is a big challenge but it is an essential step towards attending a foundation course at a public Studienkollegs. The number of participants is huge, they are competing for a limited number of seats. Consequently, the competition is very high! Therefore, you have to prepare yourself very well to win this competition!
In order to participate in this exam, you have to reach a certain proficiency level of the German language, with A1 or A2 levels you are not eligible to participate. At least a B1 level is required, but with the B2 level, you have a better chance to pass this exam.
The entrance exam was designed not only to test your German language proficiency to be eligible for the foundation course but also (in some entrance exams) to exam your mathematical skills.
After two academic semesters of learning the German language and other subjects that prepare you for your Bachelor’s degree program, you must pass the University Qualification Exam or some times called “Final Assessment Exam” (in German called “Feststellungsprüfung (FSP)”) to become eligible to study at any university or university of applied sciences in Germany. If you prepare yourself very well, you can take this exam “FSP” after one semester.
The final grade (score) of the University Qualification Exam “Feststellungsprüfung” will be between 1.0 (very good/excellent) and 5.0 (insufficient/failed).
|VERY IMPORTANT NOTES !!
your score from the school graduation certificate from your home country added to the score of the University Qualification Exam “Feststellungsprüfung” then divided by 2.
For example: Your score in school graduation certificate from your home country was 3.0 and your achieved score in the University Qualification Exam “FSP” 1.0. In this case, your final score is the average sum of both scores, which is 2.0.
To evaluate academic performance at German universities they use 5 points grading scale from 1 to 5. Grade, 1.0 (very good/excellent, sehr gut) and 5.0 (insufficient, ungenügend), in most cases 4.0 (sufficient) is the minimum score to pass.
Most German universities are using Modified Bavarian Formula* to convert international grades into German grading scale. It is recommended to contact the interested university directly to ask which method they use to convert international grades to the German scale.
X = German grade (searched grade),
Nmax: Best possible score (the highest) in foreign country’s grading system,
Nmin: Lowest passing score in foreign grading system
Nd: Obtained foreign grade (to be converted into German grade).
The resulting value is rounded to the next German grade (e.g. 1.6 is rounded to the German grade 1.7 and 2.4 is rounded to 2.3). For resulting values between two German grades, the score is rounded to the better grade (e.g. 2.5 is rounded to the German grade 2.3 and 1.15 is rounded to 1.0).
Ali has finished his general secondary school/scientific stream from Amman, Jordan, he obtained his school graduation certificate (in Jordan called “Tawjihi”), his score (percentage average) was 95%.
He would like to study medicine in Germany but, he knows that the required minimum score at the German universities for medicine is above 1.4.
Let us calculate his grade on the German grading scale. According to above formula “Modified Bavarian formula”, Nmax= 100; Nmin= 50; Nd= 95%.
His score on the German grading scale is 1.3, his chance is high to study medicine but he has to reach at least the same score when he finishes the foundation course “Studienkolleg”.