The proportion of courses with restricted admission is falling

The winter semester is approaching. An important criterion for choosing a course of study: What numerus clausus is required for the desired course of study? This is very different depending on the university.

In Germany, there are again fewer degree programs with admission restrictions in percentage terms than in the previous year for the 2020/21 winter semester. It is 40.6 percent of the courses nationwide.

This is the result of the "Check Numerus Clausus" study by the Gutersloh CHE Center for University Development. The decline is small compared to the previous year: in 2019/20 it was 40.7 percent.

The lowest rate in Thuringia

Depending on the subject, type of university, federal state and place of study, the rate of courses with a so-called Numerus Clausus (NC) varies greatly: courses in Berlin (66.1 percent), Saarland (65.4 percent) and Hamburg ( 64.2 percent) with restricted admission.

In Thuringia, prospective students have the fewest hurdles. There is only one NC selection among applicants for every fifth degree program (19.4 percent). The numerus-clausus values ​​are made up of the Abitur grade, but also, for example, waiting times or professional experience.

City comparison: highest value in Leipzig

When comparing cities, there are also quite clear differences: high NC rates are found above all in the largest cities, such as Berlin and Hamburg, Cologne and Munich. But even in typical "student cities" such as Leipzig and Gottingen, admission restrictions can often be expected.

In this year’s check, Leipzig achieved the highest value among the larger university cities with Saarbrucken. Around two thirds of all courses (65 percent) have restricted admission.

Best opportunities in Giessen

On the other hand, those interested in studying have the best chances of getting a place in university cities with more than 40,000 students in Giessen. Freshmen can enroll in four out of five courses without any further procedures or tests.

With a rate of 45 percent, courses at universities of applied sciences receive an NC more often than at universities (37.2 percent). The NC rate for bachelor’s courses is 42 percent, slightly higher than for master’s courses (38.8 percent).

Subjects with and without Numerus Clausus

Admission restrictions are particularly high in law, economics, society and social sciences. Nationwide, about every second degree program is restricted in admission.

In mathematics and the natural sciences, on the other hand, more than 60 percent of the courses are open to all freshmen. Language and cultural studies have the lowest rate.

"Reassuring news"

CHE managing director Frank Ziegele commented on the current situation with the words:

"Many prospective students this year suffered from the extraordinary Abitur conditions in view of Corona. The fact that the Abitur grade does not play a role for almost 60 percent of all courses this year is certainly good and reassuring news."

The information in the NC-Check 2020/21 is based on entries in the nationwide Hochschulkompass (HSK) database as of June 2020.

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