How do I get into university now?

Summer in Berlin is over. As soon as you buy a new pair of sunglasses, the days get shorter again. The holiday season has passed particularly quickly for young adults who celebrated their high school diploma in early July and are now planning their first steps towards their professional future.

Some choose to do vocational training, volunteer work or a year abroad, while others go straight to college. But not everyone who wants to learn gets a place right away. But it’s not too late.

If you did not get a job in the first round of application or missed the deadline, you can still get into the university: the remaining places are currently allocated at universities and polytechnics. The online exchange of study places of the German Rectors’ Conference (HRK) helps with orientation.

Make a targeted search

How it’s working? Thanks to the “Extended Search” option, interested parties can search the HRK University Compass in a very specific way: by location of studies, universities, fields of study or specific courses. For example, for a bachelor’s degree in biology from a public university, the stock exchange now lists 33 addresses nationwide: from agricultural biology in Hohenheim, to biochemistry in Greifswald, to environmental science in Oldenburg.

Most universities have the deadline mid to late September, but some started enrollment by mid or late October.

Please note that it is not easy to register all found offers. Depending on the subject and university, there are different admission requirements, such as language knowledge or a certain grade point average. Many universities allocate the remaining seats through a lottery, which they either do themselves or coordinate centrally via the platform.

After the failure of the doctor’s registration in Frankfurt am Main, the application platform for the centrally organized nationwide lottery procedure, the so-called coordinated removal. is re-open to prospective students from Tuesday. Only those who have not yet been admitted to the university can register for a coordinated promotion.

Remaining place in Berlin

In the case of Berlin, a higher education compass search still returns results for the Polytechnic University (6), Humboldt University (15) or Universities of Applied Sciences (69 in total). But the last places at Freie Universität are also allocated by lot. This winter semester is about Arabic Studies, Bioinformatics, Chemistry and Geography at FU, Tagesspiegel learned upon request. You apply for these places directly on the FU homepage.

For TU Berlin, Bariş Ünal, head of the student advisory department, lists the following subjects where undergraduate places are still allocated via post nutrition teaching / food science, culture and technology / education science, culture and technology / history of science and technology, food technology, media technology, technical informatics and transport.

If, after a ‘coordinated transfer’ via, there are still vacancies in October, TU Berlin will host a lottery for bachelor’s degree places in the first semester, explains Ünal. The university will inform about it on its website.

You can also report to BTU Cottbus until September 26.
© Photo: Brandenburg Technical University Cottbus-Senftenberg

The application for the University of Applied Sciences Berlin seems to be particularly promising. BHT recruits applicants for regular placements on seven courses – from packaging technology to pharmaceutical and chemical technology, computational and design engineering, to electromobility and green engineering. Note: At BHT, the deadline for submitting applications through the university’s own website is only until September 16.

The offer at the University of Applied Sciences (HTW) is narrower: Entries there only by lottery – but until September 30. According to the university’s HRK compass, there are still vacancies there, for example for regenerative energies, clothing, electrical engineering and various computer science courses.

Good opportunities in the area

Does it have to be Berlin? The university landscape is much larger and in the university compass there are still interesting study opportunities throughout the republic. HRK points out that it is worth looking at the university exchange of places spontaneously, even late and many times. It is updated daily and due to cancellations the seats are always free on short notice.

The possibilities in the area are much greater than in Berlin – for example at the European University Viadrina in Frankfurt (Oder) and at the BTU Cottbus. In Frankfurt, you can enroll directly in almost the entire range of courses offered until September 15th. Most of the subjects offered on Viadrina, be it European Economic Law, Cultural and Literary Studies, or Central and Eastern European Studies, are free.

This also applies to last-minute offers from the Brandenburg Technical University in Cottbus, where you can sign up until September 26 via the BTU’s own application portal. With the exception of social work with limited admission and instrumental-vocal pedagogy, which requires an entrance examination, “there is still room everywhere,” says student marketing worker Theresa Pohl on request.

In Cottbus, students repeatedly praise the intensity of the supervision during their studies.

Teresa Pohl

Bachelor’s degree programs are offered in all engineering majors, in computer science, mathematics and business administration, as well as in two new Artificial Intelligence majors. Also new at BTU are BA studies in the history of architecture and art – at the interface between civil engineers and monument conservators – and the digital society, which deals with the effects of digitization in everyday life and the world of work.

Why travel around when you can still wait a semester or two in Berlin to study in your hometown? “Here in Cottbus, students repeatedly praise the intensity of supervision during their studies, the short distances on campus and the proximity of the teachers,” says Theresa Pohl. There is no mass operation with overcrowded lectures at BTU, nor is there a housing shortage in Berlin. “One-room flat close to the university – no problem,” says Pohl.

First to the student clinic

But should high school graduates really have to spontaneously choose a field of study three weeks or even less before starting a semester, which they may not have thought of before? “Anyone who still finds a vacancy at a university that has personal interests and meets a few technical requirements and really wants to try them out: that might be a good idea,” says Baris Unal, head of TU student counseling. However, he also advises people who decide late to take advantage of the advice offered by a given university. “Talking to student counseling can help identify pitfalls,” says Ünal.

Example: If the goal is to reduce the time spent on ‘park exploration’ until you successfully apply in the actual dream study and continue to receive child benefit, there may be problems with the Bafög office if you change items later. As always, in the coming weeks until the start of the semester, a student advisory service will be available to clarify the discussions. Whether online or in person or by phone and at what times: they can be found on the websites of universities and technical colleges under the slogan “Student Advisory Service”.

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