FAQs on the academic year 2012/2013

What steps is Heidelberg University taking to prepare for the increased number of applicants, both in terms of programmes and teaching?

Heidelberg University is boosting the number of study places as well as adding professorships in conjunction with the “Higher Education 2012” programme. Existing courses of study are being expanded as well as new ones set up, such as the Bachelor’s in American Studies or Biochemistry. Since the 2007/2008 winter semester, the state of Baden-Württemberg has approved 736 new study places to be added in three stages as part of the expansion initiative. 256 of these were added as temporary in order to strengthen degree programmes that were already too crowded or expected to be so in the foreseeable future.


What subject areas are getting additional study places, what new courses of study are being set up?

The following courses of study are adding study places:

  • Biosciences (Bachelor)
  • Educational Sciences (Bachelor)
  • Chinese Studies (Bachelor)
  • Christianity and Culture (Bachelor)
  • Computational Linguistics (Bachelor)
  • East Asian Studies (Bachelor)
  • Economics (Political Economics) (Bachelor)
  • Educational Science (Teaching Certificate)
  • Ethnology (Bachelor)
  • European Art History (Bachelor)
  • Geography (Bachelor, Teaching Certificate)
  • History (Bachelor)
  • Law (State Examination)
  • Medicine (State Examination)
  • Molecular Biotechnology (Bachelor)
  • Philosophy (Bachelor, Teaching Certificate)
  • Physics (Bachelor, Teaching Certificate)
  • Political Science (Bachelor, Teaching Certificate)
  • Sports and Sports Sciences (Bachelor, Teaching Certificate)
  • Translation Studies: English (Bachelor)
  • Translation Studies: Russian (Bachelor)
  • Translation Studies: Spanish (Bachelor)
  • 2011/2012 winter semester: Teacher Training, including German, History, and Romance Languages

New programmes include a Bachelor's in American Studies. A Bachelor's programme in Interprofessional Healthcare will start in the 2011/2012 winter semester, a Bachelor's in Biochemistry is due to begin in the 2012/2013 winter semester.


What is Heidelberg University doing to accommodate the need for more space?

In addition to optimising the use of existing lecture halls and seminar rooms, the university will be adding capacity as part of the “Higher Education 2012” programme, with special funds being made available for construction and leasing. Heidelberg University will receive approximately 3.5 million euros from the state for additional seminar space and modernising existing areas.


How is Heidelberg University going to absorb the increasing number of applicants now that mandatory military service has been discontinued?

This is where the measures being taken under the auspices of the “Higher Education 2012” expansion programme help. But the discontinuation of mandatory military service does exacerbate the situation. Heidelberg University believes governmental policy should support colleges and universities with the additional required funds.


How will the situation evolve over the next several years?

That’s a difficult question to answer. Until now, only some students went right from secondary school into university in the same year, but that could change now that military and alternative service is no longer mandatory. That’s why we’re anticipating a considerably higher number of entrants into bachelor’s programmes through 2014. This also means a concomitant rise in the number of master’s degree applicants. This challenge, too, can only be met if the universities are given the necessary resources.


What tips can you give secondary school graduates ready to start university study in the next few years?

Potential students should take advantage of the extensive and very broad range of academic programmes. They often focus on the well-known “major” disciplines like law, medicine or history, glossing over the many other exciting fields available, such as East Asian studies and computational linguistics. All universities offer a number of programmes in these less prominent subject areas, programmes that offer interesting perspectives and are not full to capacity. Potential students should by all means have alternatives in mind – such as vocational training or study abroad.


Is there enough housing and are the student cafeterias big enough? How will the onslaught of students impact “social factors”?

Heidelberg Student Services is also guaranteeing the best possible support to the double number of beginning students expected in 2012. Besides renovating residential halls, they are planning on leasing additional living space to ease the crunch on the housing market. For an initial period of ten years, Student Services has already rented barracks recently vacated by the American armed forces, thus creating 600 additional places in halls of residence. The “Student seeks room” campaign is also designed to attract potential landlords so students quickly have as many opportunities as possible on the private renter’s market.
The cafeterias are up to handling the larger number of students and bottlenecks are not expected.
Student Services has also beefed up its social and psychotherapeutic counselling services. Students can count on a willing ear and professional expertise whenever needed.

Editor: e-mail
Latest Revision: 2013-01-21
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