Germany is a land of ideas where education, science and research play a central role. It is one of the countries most preferred by international students, a hub of cutting-edge international research and a constant source of new patents.
Germany has 409 officially-recognized institutions of higher education: 104 universities, 6 colleges of education, 16 colleges of theology, 51 colleges of art, 203 universities of applied sciences, and 29 colleges of public administration. German universities and colleges offer more than 13,500 degree programs to approximately two million students, 240,000 of whom are international students, making Germany the most attractive country for international students after the United States and the United Kingdom. All institutions of higher education are open to students of all nations and many degree programs are taught partly or entirely in English.
World-class research is also being conducted at hundreds of scientific institutes, such as the Fraunhofer-Gesellschaft, Helmholtz Association, the Leibniz Association, and the Max-Planck-Gesellschaft. These research institutes, which are usually located outside the universities, offer leading researchers optimal working conditions. Collaboration between researchers at these institutes and the universities is quite common, and many of the researchers have joint appointments.