Higher education in Germany: entry, training process

Learning – targeted pedagogical process of organizing and stimulating active learning and cognitive activities of students to master the knowledge, skills and abilities, develop creative abilities and moral ethical views.

Learning – a type of learning activity in which the quantity and quality of elements of knowledge and skills of a student are brought by the teacher (teacher) to an appropriate low level (average, benchmark, possible), which is the purpose of learning.

A learning activity is considered completed and its purpose achieved if the quantity and quality of the learning material in the pupil’s recycled product corresponds to the learning purpose or is at an appropriate level (medium, benchmark, possible) which is represented in the learning purpose. This is achieved through a teacher/student interaction and requires both sides of the learning process to make efforts and actions that contribute to the successful achievement of the learning objectives. It also requires that the objectives are the same and, if they do not coincide, that all participants in the process of learning interact with each other. The teacher should make an effort and organize the learning material in a form and content that improves the student’s understanding of the knowledge that he perceives in the learning process. A student’s level of understanding of perceived information depends on the student’s efforts to master the material as well as on the level of knowledge that the student has previously absorbed and understood.

Often learning is defined as a type of knowledge – the process of finding truth, the reflection of objective reality in the mind of the student. Focusing on such a point of reference forces the scientist and practice to concentrate on what is happening in the head of the person, replacing the didactic position with the psychological one.

The need for didactics as a branch of knowledge appeared when it became necessary to teach not one student, but several at once. The question of how to organize the training of many people at the same time, and sets the meaning of the whole didactic theory. It is no coincidence that, even in cognitive paradigms, forms of learning organization are traditionally divided into frontal, group and individual. This typology does not follow from forms and ways of cognition, but is based on a quantitative feature – the coverage of the students of the learning community participating in a particular learning situation. (For some cases, this typology is quite satisfactory.)

More and more scholars have taken the position that learning is a process of interaction between subjects, or more precisely, a specially organised communication between those who have knowledge and experience and those who acquire it[13]. In science, communication is understood as the interaction of subjects in the integrity of its three sides: communicative, interactive and perceptual. In the course of communication all kinds of human activity, social experience, culture are reproduced and assimilated. “Such a common methodological level of notions of learning implies understanding of learning as a material process with the presence of objective laws of existence and objective regularities of historical development”.

Often learning is defined as a type of knowledge – the process of finding truth, the reflection of objective reality in the mind of the student. Focusing on such a point of reference forces the scientist and practice to concentrate on what is happening in the head of the person, replacing the didactic position with the psychological one.

The need for didactics as a branch of knowledge appeared when it became necessary to teach not one student, but several at once. The question of how to organize the training of many people at the same time, and sets the meaning of the whole didactic theory. It is no coincidence that, even in cognitive paradigms, forms of learning organization are traditionally divided into frontal, group and individual. This typology does not follow from forms and ways of cognition, but is based on a quantitative feature – the coverage of the students of the learning community participating in a particular learning situation. (For some cases, this typology is quite satisfactory.)

More and more scholars have taken the position that learning is a process of interaction between subjects, or more precisely, a specially organised communication between those who have knowledge and experience and those who acquire it[13]. In science, communication is understood as the interaction of subjects in the integrity of its three sides: communicative, interactive and perceptual. In the course of communication all kinds of human activity, social experience, culture are reproduced and assimilated. “Such a common methodological level of notions of learning implies understanding of learning as a material process with the presence of objective laws of existence and objective regularities of historical development”.

Studying in Germany attracts students from all over the world, because higher education in Germany has deep historical roots and rich academic traditions. Of the universities that have survived, Heidelberg was the first to open, in 1386. Although the modern tradition hardly dates back to the 14th century, the old university buildings have not yet lost their charm, and students still knock on desks to thank the lecture given by the professor. The quality of education also remains consistently high, with thousands of international students coming to study there each year.

There are many reasons to get a higher education in Germany: from the quality of professional training and wide career prospects to the cherished card of residence permit and high living standards. Studying here is not as expensive as in the neighbouring Netherlands or Austria, it is relatively easy to enter, and German university diplomas are quoted all over the world. Russian applicants are attracted by the comparative simplicity and accessibility of the German language – it is taught without leaving the homeland.

Educational institutions in Germany are mainly public – this applies to secondary education as well as higher education. As early as secondary school, children choose their further life trajectory based on their abilities and receive secondary education in the “main school” (Hauptschule) or “real school” (Realschule). After their placement in the Hauptschule, they can move on to the Realschule and from there to upper secondary school (Gymnasium). After studying in upper secondary school, you can go to upper secondary school (Fachhochschule) and take the final examinations (Abitur). Another option is that after the Realschule you can enter the Fachoberschule (Fachhochschule, 12 classes in total) and from there you can enter a university of applied sciences, e.g. FH (Fachhochschule).

Studying

In most universities, the fall semester begins in October and ends in March, while the spring semester lasts from April to September. This is also unusual for someone who has grown up in Russian educational realities. In Germany, students spend August and September preceding the start of the autumn semester writing coursework, retake exams, etc. Only at Christmas universities officially go on vacation.

However, studies do not take the whole semester, but only the first 2.5-3 months: in the autumn it lasts until mid-December, and in the spring it lasts until mid-late June, after which the session comes. The teaching process in Germany is based on the principles of academic freedom and great independence: students themselves form an individual curriculum and, with the exception of a few compulsory subjects, they choose which courses they will attend.

This freedom influences the learning process: at German universities, it is not enough to pass an exam at the end of a course to receive an assessment; it is not enough to attend all classes. In order to successfully complete the course, you will have to work hard for the whole semester, because much of the material is given to students to study independently, many classes are held in the format of seminars, and the courses are mainly aimed at developing practical skills – you will have to regularly take written papers, make presentations, put forward experiences and work on projects.

Not only does admission to the Master’s program or postgraduate scholarship depend on grades, but employment as well. The same applies to internships that most students undertake during their studies – the more prestigious the company and the better the conditions, the more competitive the competition and the more important the grade point average.