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EACEA National Policies Platform:Eurydice
Glossary

Germany

16.Glossary

Last update: 27 November 2023
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Abendgymnasium

Establishment of the so-called Zweiter Bildungsweg at which adults can attend evening classes to obtain the general higher education entrance qualification.

Abendhauptschule

Establishment of the so-called Zweiter Bildungsweg at which adults can attend evening classes to obtain the Erster Schulabschluss (school leaving qualification of the Hauptschule).

Abendrealschule

Establishment of the so-called Zweiter Bildungsweg at which adults can attend evening classes to obtain the Mittlerer Schulabschluss (school leaving qualification of the Realschule).

Abitur

Secondary school qualification, obtained at the upper Gymnasium level (gymnasiale Oberstufe) after 12 or 13 years of school education which constitutes general higher education entrance qualification permitting the holder to study any subject at any higher education institution.

Abiturprüfung

Examination leading to the Allgemeine Hochschulreife usually taken upon conclusion of the upper Gymnasium level (gymnasiale Oberstufe). In the Abitur examination, candidates are examined in 4 subjects. In some Länder, candidates are examined in a fifth subject or a particular achievement (besondere Lernleistung) is incorporated in the examination. Each of the following three subject areas must be represented: languages, literature and the arts; social sciences; mathematics, natural sciences and technology.

Akkreditierung

The accreditation of Bachelor’s and Master’s study courses is aimed at ensuring standards in terms of academic content and professional relevance that include checking the study course concept, whether the content is suitable for study, the quality of the teaching and the professional relevance. Accreditation is performed by decentral accreditation agencies. A central Accreditation Council (Akkreditierungsrat) ensures that accreditation follows reliable and transparent standards and also that, as part of accreditation, the concerns of the system as a whole, which are the responsibility of all Länder, are taken into account.

Allgemeine Hochschulreife

General higher education entrance qualification. Entitles holder to admission to all subjects at all higher education institutions and is usually obtained at upper Gymnasium level (gymnasiale Oberstufe) by passing the Abitur examination.

Anerkannter Ausbildungsberuf

Recognised occupation requiring formal training. Occupation regulated at the federal level by legal ordinance for which training is received within the dual system at two different places of learning, i.e. at the workplace and through part-time attendance of a vocational school (Berufsschule).

Arbeitslehre

Pre-vocational studies – introduction to the professional and working world covering the topics of technology, economics, home and work. It is taught – whether under this name or another – at lower secondary level schools, either as a subject in its own right or as an integral part of other subjects.

Ausbildungsordnung

Training regulations. Legal ordinance governing the in-company training section of vocational training within the dual system. Training regulations also exist in other areas (e.g. for careers in the Civil Service).

Bachelor

The Bachelor’s degree as a first higher education qualification provides qualification for a profession. It can be obtained after a standard period of study (Regelstudienzeit) of six, seven or eight semesters at universities and equivalent institutions of higher education, at colleges of art and music and at Fachhochschulen. Together with the Master's degree, the Bachelor's degree is part of a graduation system of consecutive degrees which is to replace the traditional system of higher education qualifications (Diplom and Magister). Bachelor’s qualifications provide the same rights as Diplom qualifications of Fachhochschulen. The Bachelor may also be obtained as a tertiary education qualification providing qualification for a profession at Berufsakademien.

Bachelorarbeit

Written dissertation to be prepared at the end of a Bachelor’s course of study. The dissertation must investigate, independently, a subject using academic methods and be submitted within a specified period of time.

Bachelorgrad

Academic degree awarded on the basis of an examination administered by a higher education institution (unlike the state examination) in a specific subject group, for example Bachelor of Arts (B.A.), Bachelor of Science (B.Sc.), Bachelor of Engineering (B.Eng.) The Bachelor’s degree is awarded by universities and equivalent institutions of higher education, colleges of art and music and Fachhochschulen.

Bachelorprüfung

Final examination leading to the award of the Bachelor at universities and equivalent higher education institutions, colleges of art and music, Fachhochschulen and Berufsakademien.

Berufliches Gymnasium

Type of school at upper secondary level offering a three-year course of education which includes both the general education subjects taught at upper Gymnasium level (gymnasiale Oberstufe) and career-oriented subjects, such as business and technology, but which also leads to the general higher education entrance qualification.

Berufsakademie

Tertiary sector institution in some Länder, offering courses of academic training at a Studienakademie (study institution) combined with practical in-company professional training within a dual system in keeping with the principle of the dual system.

Berufsfachschule

Vocational school at upper secondary level offering a wide range of branches and courses of varying duration. A full-time school, it prepares or trains students for a specific occupation at different levels of qualification.

Berufsoberschule

Vocational school at upper secondary level existing in a few Länder. Offers those who have completed vocational training in the dual system the opportunity to obtain a higher education entrance qualification. Providing two years of full-time education or correspondingly longer part-time education, the Berufsoberschule leads to the Fachgebundene Hochschulreife and, with a second foreign language, to the Allgemeine Hochschulreife.

Berufsschule

Vocational school at upper secondary level generally providing part-time instruction in general and vocational subjects to trainees receiving vocational education and training within the dual system.

Berufsvorbereitungsjahr

Preparation for those young people who do not have a training contract, helping them to choose a career and providing them with vocational training in the form of full-time instruction designed to provide an introduction to one or two occupational fields.

Bezirksregierung

The middle level in the three-tier system of Land administration, responsible for a particular area (administrative district) of a Land (below the supreme authorities of the Land but above the lower authorities at local level).

Bildungsstandards

The educational standards of the Standing Conference take up general educational objectives and specify which competences with regard to key content pupils should have acquired by a certain grade. The educational standards refer to the average expected performance level of pupils at the end of grade 4 for the Erster Schulabschluss, the Mittlerer Schulabschluss and the Allgemeine Hochschulreife.

Dienstaufsicht

The authority of a superior authority to supervise and instruct a subordinate authority. Also the authority of a superior to supervise and instruct subordinate civil servants or other public administration employees.

Diplom

The Diplom degree as a higher education qualification provides qualification for a profession. It may be obtained either at universities and equivalent institutions of higher education as well as at colleges of art and music (particularly in social or economic sciences and in natural and engineering sciences) or likewise at Fachhochschulen (in all subjects, with the specification Fachhochschule or FH added to the degree title). The Diplom degree may also be obtained as a tertiary education qualification providing qualification for a profession at Berufsakademien (with the specification Berufsakademie or BA added to the degree title).

Diplomarbeit

Written dissertation to be prepared at the end of a Diplom course of study. The dissertation must investigate, independently, a subject using academic methods and be submitted within a specified period of time.

Diplomgrad

Academic degree awarded on the basis of an examination administered by a higher education institution (unlike the state examination). The title awarded combines the name of the degree with the subject in which it has been obtained, e.g. Diplom-Ingenieur (graduate engineer), Diplom-Psychologe (graduate psychologist), Diplom-Kaufmann (graduate in commerce). This degree is awarded by universities and equivalent higher education institutions, as well as by Fachhochschulen (with the word Fachhochschule or FH added to the degree title) and by colleges of art and music.

Diplomprüfung

Final examination leading to the award of the Diplom degree at universities and equivalent higher education institutions, colleges of art and music, Fachhochschulen and Berufsakademien.

Doktorgrad

Academic degree awarded following the doctoral procedure, which consists of a written thesis and either an oral examination or a defence of the thesis.

Drittmittel

Funding provided for an individual academic or scientist or for a research institution other than that from the standard budget (funds of the higher education institution and the Land) and which is received on application to third parties (e.g. foundations, industry).

Duales System

Training carried out at two places of learning, i.e. at upper secondary education establishments (Berufsschulen) or tertiary education institutions (Berufsakademien, Fachhochschulen) and in companies. Trainees either attend the two places of learning alternately or simultaneously.

Ergänzungsschule

Privately-maintained school providing courses of education not normally available at public-sector schools, particularly in the vocational sector.

Ersatzschule

Privately-maintained school which provides an equivalent education to public-sector schools in terms of organisational structure, functions and curriculum and at which pupils can complete their compulsory schooling.

Erster Schulabschluss

General school-leaving certificate after grade 9 that can be obtained at lower secondary schools. This first general education certificate is usually used to start vocational training in the dual system. In some Länder, it is possible to obtain a qualifying first school leaving certificate, which confirms above-average performance. Under certain conditions, some Länder award an extended Erster Schulabschluss, which goes beyond the Erster Schulabschluss in its requirements. In addition to the standardized cross-Länder qualification designation, the Land-specific qualification designation can also be recognised as equivalent.

Erzieher

Youth or child care worker who has completed a course at a Fachschule for social work (four to five years' training at a vocational school at upper secondary level including work experience). Qualified to work in pre-school establishments and in areas of youth services.

Fachaufsicht

State supervision of the manner in which public functions are being discharged. Unlike legal supervision it extends beyond examining the legality of measures to examining how effective and appropriate actions are. In the school sector it involves, among other things, supervising educational work and advising teaching staff.

Fachgebundene Hochschulreife

Qualification entitling holder to study particular subjects at a higher education institution. May be obtained through certain courses of vocational education at upper secondary level.

Fachgymnasium

See Berufliches Gymnasium

Fachhochschule

University of applied sciences. Type of higher education institution established in the 1970s, which has the particular function of providing application-oriented teaching and research, particularly in engineering, business, administration, social services and design.

Fachhochschulreife

Qualification entitling holder to study at a Fachhochschule. May usually be obtained after 12 years of schooling at a Fachoberschule or – under certain conditions – at other vocational schools.

Fachoberschule

Vocational school at upper secondary level providing two-year courses in various subject areas leading to the qualification of Fachhochschulreife. The first year consists of both practical training in the workplace and lessons, whilst the second year covers general and subject-specific lessons.

Fachschule

Vocational school offering continuing vocational training courses of between one and three years which build on initial vocational training and subsequent employment and lead to a further qualification in a profession.

Fernuniversität

State higher education institution based in Hagen offering courses of study by distance learning only. Courses offered include those leading to a first qualification for entry into a profession (Bachelor, Diplom, Magister) and further study, supplementary and graduate studies.

Förderschule

Special school – school establishment for pupils whose development cannot be adequately assisted at mainstream schools on account of disability. Also known as Förderzentrum.

Förderschullehrer

Special education teacher who has completed a specific teacher training course of study followed by a preparatory service (Vorbereitungsdienst) for work at special schools.

Freie Waldorfschule

Privately-maintained primary and secondary schools, which base their work on the ideological and educational ideas of Rudolf Steiner.

Ganztagsschule

All-day schools – primary and secondary schools which, in addition to timetabled lessons in the morning, offer an all-day programme comprising at least seven hours per day on at least three days per week. Activities offered in the afternoon are to be organised under the supervision and responsibility of the head staff and to be carried out in cooperation with the head staff. The activities are to have a conceptual relationship with the lessons in the morning. All-day schools, which are far less common in Germany than the traditional Halbtagsschule, provide a midday meal on the days on which they offer all-day supervision.

Gemeinschaftsschule

Type of school in Baden-Württemberg, Berlin, Saarland, Sachsen, Sachsen-Anhalt, Schleswig-Holstein and Thüringen offering several courses of education leading to different qualifications (Erster Schulabschluss, Mittlerer Schulabschluss, entitlement to proceed to the gymnasiale Oberstufe, Abitur).

Gesamtschule

Type of school at lower secondary level offering several courses of education leading to different qualifications (Erster Schulabschluss, Mittlerer Schulabschluss, entitlement to proceed to the gymnasiale Oberstufe, Abitur). It either takes the form of a cooperative Gesamtschule or an integrated Gesamtschule. In the cooperative type, pupils are taught in classes grouped according to the different qualifications available, whilst in the integrated type, pupils are set in courses grouped according to level of proficiency for a number of core subjects, but taught together as a year group for all other subjects. Gesamtschulen can also encompass the upper secondary level in the form of the gymnasiale Oberstufe.

Graduiertenkolleg

Establishment at higher education institutions aiming at the promotion of young graduated academics, enabling doctoral candidates to prepare their doctoral thesis within a thematically-oriented research group.

Grundordnung

The basic constitution of a higher education institution, especially regulating matters of academic self-administration; it must be confirmed by the Ministry of Science of the Land concerned.

Grundschule

Compulsory school for all children of the age of six onwards. It comprises four grades, except in Berlin and Brandenburg where it covers six grades.

Gymnasiale Oberstufe

The upper level of the Gymnasium, which can however be established at other types of school. It comprises grades 11–13 or 10–12, depending on the Land and the type of school. Course of general education concluded by the Abitur examination, which leads to the general higher education entrance qualification (Allgemeine Hochschulreife).

Gymnasium

Type of school covering both lower and upper secondary level (grades 5–13 or 5–12) and providing an in-depth general education aimed at the general higher education entrance qualification. At present, in almost all Länder, there is a change from the nine-year to the eight-year Gymnasium. Some Länder have already changed to the eight-year Gymnasium in which the Allgemeine Hochschulreife is acquired after grade 12.

Habilitation

Post-doctoral qualification proving ability to teach and engage in research in an academic subject (lecturing qualification). Additional academic performances can replace the Habilitation procedure. See also Juniorprofessor.

Habilitationsrecht

Higher education institution's right to award lecturing qualification. As a rule, universities and equivalent higher education institutions have this right and, under certain conditions, also colleges of art and music.

Halbtagsschule

Half-day school as opposed to all-day school – the most common way of organising lessons. At these schools lessons are only given in the mornings. In the primary sector there are so-called full half-day schools and at lower secondary level so-called extended half-day schools. Here pupils are provided with care and supervision outside of lessons.

Hauptschulabschluss

Erster Schulabschluss

Hauptschule

Type of school at lower secondary level providing a basic general education. Compulsory school, unless pupil is attending a different type of secondary school, usually comprising grades 5–9.

Hochschulprüfung

Examination concluding a course of study. Unlike state examinations, it is administered solely by the higher education institution itself. See also Bachelorprüfung, Diplomprüfung, Magisterprüfung, Masterprüfung, Staatsprüfung, Doktorgrad.

Hochschulreife

Higher education entrance qualification obtained as a school leaving qualification at upper secondary level on completion of grade 12 or 13. See also Allgemeine Hochschulreife, Fachgebundene Hochschulreife.

Hort

Establishment run by youth welfare services offering care and supervision of schoolchildren outside of lessons.

Integrativer Kindergarten

Pre-school establishment for children with disabilities – also known as Sonderkindergarten or Förderkindergarten.

Integrierte Sekundarschule

Type of school in Berlin offering several courses of education leading to different qualifications (Erster Schulabschluss, Mittlerer Schulabschluss, entitlement to proceed to the gymnasiale Oberstufe, Abitur).

Juniorprofessor

Teacher at higher education institutions who is appointed as civil servant for a limited period of three years or as salaried employee. The period of appointment can be extended by another three years. The requirements for an appointment as Juniorprofessor are a degree from an institution of higher education, teaching ability and particular aptitude for academic work which is usually demonstrated by the quality of a doctorate. Depending on Land law, the Juniorprofessur can replace the Habilitation as requirement for an appointment as professor with unlimited tenure at an institution of higher education.

Kindergarten

Pre-school establishment for children aged between three and six as part of child and youth welfare services – may be either publicly or privately maintained (not part of the school system).

Kinderkrippe

Day-care establishment for children under the age of three. Comes under the category of child and youth welfare services and may either be publicly or privately maintained.

Kolleg

Establishment of the so-called Zweiter Bildungsweg where adults attend full-time classes to obtain the general higher education entrance qualification.

Kommune

Local authority with the right of self-government in certain areas of jurisdiction. The term covers the Gemeinden (municipalities), the Kreise (districts) and the kreisfreie Städte (municipalities with the status of a district) and, in some Länder, the Bezirke (regional authorities); Kommunen are entitled to deal independently with all affairs relating to the local community in the framework of the law.

Kultusministerium

The ministries of education and cultural affairs are the supreme authorities at Land level with respect to education, science and culture. Their work includes, above all, schools, higher education and adult education, the general preservation of art and culture, and relations between the state and religious communities (known as Kultusangelegenheiten). The majority of the Länder, in addition to a ministry for schools, also have separate ministries to cover science and research.

Land

Constituent state of the Federal Republic of Germany (16 in all) which, like the Federation, has original state authority. However, responsibility for the execution of state powers and the fulfilment of state tasks is divided by the German constitution, the Basic Law, between the Federation and its constituent states. Of the 16 Länder, the five Länder in the area of the former GDR are known as the Länder in eastern Germany, whereas the other 11 constituent states of the original Federal Republic of Germany are known as the Länder in western Germany.

Magister

The Magister as a first higher education qualification provides qualification for a profession. It can be obtained at universities and equivalent institutions of higher education (particularly in arts subjects). The course of study comprises either two equally weighted major subjects or a combination of one major subject and two minor subjects.

Magisterarbeit

Written dissertation to be prepared at the end of a Magister course of study. The dissertation must investigate, independently, a subject using academic methods and be submitted within a specified period of time.

Magistergrad

Academic degree awarded by universities and equivalent institutions of higher education on the basis of an examination administered by a higher education institution (unlike the state examination).

Magisterprüfung

Higher education examination leading to the award of the Magistergrad.

Master

The Master’s degree as a further higher education qualification provides qualification for a profession. It can be obtained after a standard period of study (Regelstudienzeit) of two, three or four semesters at universities and equivalent institutions of higher education, colleges of art and music and Fachhochschulen. As a rule, the entry requirement for a Master’s study course is a first higher education degree qualifying for a profession. Consecutive Master’s study courses are part of the graduation system of consecutive degrees which is to replace the traditional system of higher education qualifications (Diplom and Magister). Master’s study courses providing further education correspond to the requirements for consecutive Master’s study courses and lead to the same level of qualification and to the same rights. Master’s qualifications provide the same rights as Diplom and Magister qualifications of universities and equivalent institutions of higher education.

Masterarbeit

Written dissertation to be prepared at the end of a Master’s course of study. The dissertation must investigate, independently, a subject using academic methods and be submitted within a specified period of time.

Mastergrad

Academic degree awarded on the basis of an examination administered by a higher education institution (unlike the state examination) in a specific subject group, for example Master of Arts (M.A.), Master of Science (M.Sc.), Master of Engineering (M.Eng.). The Master’s degree is awarded by universities and equivalent institutions of higher education, colleges of art and music, and Fachhochschulen.

Masterprüfung

Final examination leading to the award of the Mastergrad at universities and equivalent higher education institutions, colleges of art and music and Fachhochschulen.

Mittelschule

Type of lower secondary school with several courses of education in Bayern leading to different qualifications (Erster Schulabschluss, Mittlerer Schulabschluss).

Mittelstufenschule

Type of lower secondary school with several courses of education in Hessen leading to different qualifications (Erster Schulabschluss, Mittlerer Schulabschluss).

Mittlerer Schulabschluss

General education school leaving certificate obtained on completion of grade 10 at lower secondary level school types. It can also be obtained at a later stage during vocational training at upper secondary level.

Oberschulamt

Independent middle-level authority within the framework of the school supervisory system operated by the Ministry of Education and Cultural Affairs of the Land. In the majority of the Länder, however, its tasks are performed by the school department of the Bezirksregierung.

Oberschule

Type of lower secondary school with several courses of education in Brandenburg, Niedersachsen, and Sachsen leading to different qualifications (Erster Schulabschluss, Mittlerer Schulabschluss). Type of school with several courses of education in Bremen leading to different qualifications (Erster Schulabschluss, Mittlerer Schulabschluss, entitlement to proceed to the gymnasiale Oberstufe, Abitur).

Oberstudienrat

See Studienrat.

Orientierungsstufe

Orientation stage – either grades 5 and 6 at the individual lower secondary school types or, in some Länder, an independent school stage not attached to any school type. The orientation stage helps to decide on a pupil's future school career.

Pädagogische Hochschule

Type of higher education institution in Baden-Württemberg, equivalent in status to the universities, offering courses of study for teaching careers at primary level and certain teaching careers at lower secondary level. In specific cases, study courses leading to professions in the area of education and pedagogy outside the school sector are offered as well.

Praxissemester

Semester of work experience undertaken as part of a course of study at Fachhochschulen. Responsibility lies with the higher education institution.

Promotion

Award of a doctoral degree on the basis of a doctoral thesis and either an oral examination or a defence of the student's thesis. As a rule, the doctorate is embarked on after completing a first study course culminating in the Magister, Diplom or Staatsprüfung, as well as after obtaining a Master's qualification, and the promotion serves as proof of ability to undertake in-depth academic work.

Promotionsrecht

Higher education institution's right to award doctorates. The right is normally accorded to universities and equivalent institutions, though also, under certain conditions, to colleges of art and music.

Prüfungsordnung

Examination regulations – legal regulations of different types in school and higher education governing examination prerequisites, content and procedures. Depending on the type of examination, the regulations are issued by the ministries responsible or, where higher education examinations are concerned, they are issued by the higher education institutions and, as a rule, approved by the Ministry of Science of the Land concerned.

Rahmenlehrplan

Framework curriculum for vocational subjects at the Berufsschule within the framework of vocational training in the dual system. Framework curricula are decided on by the Standing Conference of the Ministers of Education and Cultural Affairs of the Länder once they have been coordinated with the training regulations for the in-company part of training within the dual system and are implemented by the Länder in specific curricula for each Land.

Realschulabschluss

See Mittlerer Schulabschluss

Realschule

Type of school at lower secondary level, usually comprising grades 5–10. Provides pupils with a more extensive general education and the opportunity to go on to courses of education at upper secondary level that lead to vocational or higher education entrance qualifications.

Realschule plus

Type of lower secondary school with several courses of education in Rheinland-Pfalz leading to different qualifications (Erster Schulabschluss, Mittlerer Schulabschluss).

Rechtsaufsicht

Legal supervision – state supervision of the legality of actions taken by public law bodies, including schools and higher education institutions.

Regelschule

Type of lower secondary school with several courses of education in Thüringen leading to different qualifications (Erster Schulabschluss, Mittlerer Schulabschluss).

Regelstudienzeit

Standard period of study – length of time in which it is possible to obtain a first qualification for entry into a profession at higher education institutions and at Berufsakademien. It is defined in the examination regulations. The Regelstudienzeit for Bachelor's courses of study is six, seven or eight semesters, for Master's courses two, three or four semesters.

Regionale Schule

Type of lower secondary school with several courses of education in Mecklenburg-Vorpommern leading to different qualifications (Erster Schulabschluss, Mittlerer Schulabschluss). 

Sachunterricht

Subject taught at primary school familiarising pupils with scientific and technical phenomena and with social, economic and historical aspects of their own area.

Schulamt

Lower-level authority within Ministry of Education and Cultural Affairs' two or three-tier school supervisory system. The Schulamt is either responsible for all schools in a local authority or for particular types of school.

Schularten mit mehreren Bildungsgängen

Schools with several courses of education – a category used in school statistics which applies to types of school which provide the courses of education leading to the Erster Schulabschluss and the Mittlerer Schulabschluss. Outside statistics, Schularten mit mehreren Bildungsgängen also include schools which additionally offer the Gymnasium course of education.

Schulkindergarten

School establishment for children who, although they have reached the compulsory school age, have not yet attained an adequate level of development to start school.

Schulkonferenz

School conference – body of participation in the school sector, made up of teachers', parents' and pupils' representatives.

Schulordnung

School regulations – legal ordinance enacted by the individual Länder governing the legal relationship between the pupils and the school (e.g. entrance, promotion to next grade, examination procedures, assessment of performance) and matters concerning school organisation and participation.

Schulprogramm

Schedule of the main focuses and objectives of the work of schools on the basis of Land regulations regarding the content and qualifications obtained after completing the courses. As a rule, the school-specific programmes also determine evaluation methods and criteria.

Schulträger

School maintaining body. For public-sector schools, usually a local authority (commune/district) or, less commonly, the Land. Private schools are maintained by a non-profit-making body (especially churches and non-denominational backers) or private individuals. The maintaining body is responsible for the establishment, maintenance and administration of the school and normally bears the material costs (whilst the staff costs for teachers at public-sector schools are borne by the Land).

Sekundarschule

Type of lower secondary school with several courses of education in Sachsen-Anhalt leading to different qualifications (Erster Schulabschluss, Mittlerer Schulabschluss). Type of school with several courses of education in Nordrhein-Westfalen leading to different qualifications (Erster Schulabschluss, Mittlerer Schulabschluss, entitlement to proceed to the gymnasiale Oberstufe, Abitur).

Sonderpädagogischer Förderbedarf

Special educational needs – individually tailored measures covering education, lessons, therapy and care for children or young people with physical and sensory impairments and/or psychosocial disturbances.

Sozialpädagoge

Graduate who has completed a course of study in social education at a university, Fachhochschule or Berufsakademie and who is qualified to work in such areas as youth welfare services, social work or health assistance.

Staatsprüfung

State examination concluding a course of study in certain subjects (e.g. medical subjects, teaching, law). Also refers to examination taken by law students and teaching students at the end of their preparatory service (known as the Second State Examination). The examinations are administered by examination committees staffed not only by professors from the institutions of higher education but also by representatives of the state examination offices of the Länder.

Stadtteilschule

Type of school in Hamburg offering several courses of education leading to different qualifications (Erster Schulabschluss, Mittlerer Schulabschluss, entitlement to proceed to the gymnasiale Oberstufe, Abitur).

Studiendirektor

See Studienrat.

Studienordnung

Study regulations – regulations on the content and structure of a course of study, based on the examination regulations.

Studienrat

Title of teaching post (entry office) for teachers in the senior civil service grade (teachers at Gymnasien and vocational schools). Senior positions are Oberstudienrat and Studiendirektor.

Studierendenschaft

All matriculated students at a higher education institution. Under the legal supervision of the higher education institution's governing board, the students elect self-governing bodies to represent the students' interests in matters of higher education policy and also social and cultural matters.

Technische Hochschule

Type of higher education institution equivalent in status to university. Focus traditionally lies in natural science and engineering.

Technische Universität

See Technische Hochschule

Verbundene Haupt- und Realschule

Type of lower secondary school with several courses of education in Hessen leading to different qualifications (Erster Schulabschluss, Mittlerer Schulabschluss).

Verwaltungsfachhochschule

Fachhochschule maintained by the Federation or a Land which trains young people to take up higher civil service grade posts in a particular sector of public administration.

Volkshochschule

Adult education establishment, usually publicly maintained, offering a wide range of continuing education courses in general and vocational subjects.

Volksschule

Former name for compulsory school (today known as Grundschule and Hauptschule).

Vorbereitungsdienst

Preparatory service – practical training phase completed after the First State Examination and concluded by the Second State Examination. Particularly for teaching careers but also for other civil service careers.

Vorklasse

School establishment in some Länder for children who have reached compulsory school age but have not yet attained an adequate level of development to start school and, in some cases, for children aged over five .

Weiterführende Studiengänge

Graduate study courses that are based on a first higher education degree or that supplement this (further study, supplementary and follow-up courses). At the end of graduate study courses, participants obtain a certificate or further higher education degree (Diplom, Magister, Master) but these do not lead to the Promotion.

Zeugnis der Allgemeinen Hochschulreife

The certificate of Allgemeine Hochschulreife entitles holders to admission to all subjects at all higher education institutions. It is usually obtained by passing the Abitur examination and incorporates examination marks as well as continuous assessment of pupil’s performance in the last two years of upper Gymnasium level (Qualifikationsphase).

Zweiter Bildungsweg

Establishments providing adults with an opportunity to obtain general education school leaving certificates later in life following completion of a first stage of education (establishments include Abendhauptschule, Abendrealschule, Abendgymnasium, Kolleg).