Universities in Germany have many different alliances, associations, and partnerships. The members of such coalitions depend on the topic focus of universities (technical focus, business, arts, etc). These alliances are meant to foster cooperation among universities and therefore many students seek out institutions which are part of a multi-university alliance. However, students should be sure to consider partner universities of such associations, but also note that these alliances should not play a significant “make it or break it” role in choosing a study program.
The TU9 German Universities of Technology e.V. is an alliance of nine technical universities in Germany. Not only do these universities enjoy an outstanding reputation, they foster top-class networks with industry partners in and outside of Germany. This article will provide you a summary of the universities in the TU9 alliance, their rankings, English programs, as well as other top technical universities which are not affiliated with the TU9 alliance. Students who are interested specifically in engineering universities should read our article about engineering universities in Germany for a more detailed overview.
What is the TU9 alliance
The TU9 alliance was created in 2009, initially as an informal consortium of Germany’s biggest Technische Hochschulen (established prior to 1900). The alliance’s mission is to act as a contact for society, economy, and politics, especially for the university education of technology and engineering. So what does that mean? It means that the alliance universities are elite members in industry and technology with strong government and industry partnerships within Germany and around the globe.
Historically, technical universities were not labeled as such until the late twentieth century. In the Middle Ages, higher education institutions in Europe were only called a “university” if they taught classical subjects such as philosophy, medicine, law, and theology. Formerly Technische Hochschulen which focused on engineering study programs, technical universities received recognition as a “university” under the German higher education system. This is a significant distinction as universities (Universitäten) in Germany can confer doctoral degrees.
List of TU9 universities
As the name suggests, there are nine members in the association, all of whom have been with TU9 since its foundation in 2009. The universities are top-ranked and are often sought out by international students coming to study in Germany. The TU9 universities are all public, together have over 20% international students and more than 1,200 courses. Click on a university to see more information:
TU9 universities in the international and national rankings
Germany ranks 3rd in the world (behind the US and the UK) in international university rankings.
Five of the TU9 universities have the privilege of being among the top 200 universities in the world:
Additionally, the TU9 universities are top-ranked in national rankings in Germany too. Almost half of the funding from the German Research Foundation (DFG) goes to TU9 universities in the subject of engineering. Click on each university above to see their international and national rankings from different university rankings.
TU9 English courses
The TU9 partner universities are not exclusive for German students. Not only do they welcome international students, they offer more than 200 courses in English. To make the search process easier for students, we list all of the English-taught degree courses from TU9 universities on our site. Alternatively, you can click on the universities below to see the English-language courses they offer (no. of courses: August 2020):
- RWTH Aachen (41 courses).
- Technical University of Berlin (27 courses).
- Technical University Braunschweig (1 course).
- Technical University Darmstadt (12 courses).
- Technical University Dresden (20 courses).
- Leibniz University Hannover (19 courses).
- Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (16 courses).
- Technical University Munich (62 courses).
- University of Stuttgart (16 courses).
Tuition fees at TU9 universities
Public universities in Germany are free of tuition, with very few exceptions which are detailed in the table below. Technical universities in Germany are exclusively public - because the few private universities in Germany rather focus on non-technical subjects (mainly Economics, Law, Medicine). However, there are a lot of private universities that DO offer technical degree courses. Check out our article on engineering universities in Germany to view some of these. In addition to private universities, there are a couple of other exceptions when it comes to free tuition to note:
German Higher Education Costs
|Tuition Fee||vs.||Semester Contribution|
|pays for study program||pays for administrative costs, social services provided by university, local public transportation ticket for unlimited use throughout semester|
|averages 5,000 - 7,000 € per semester||averages 200 - 300 € per semester|
|charged by private universities and specialized professional degrees (e.g. L.LM, MBA, etc.)*||Charged by all universities|
*In the southwest of Germany lies the state of Baden-Württemberg. Baden-Württemberg has a mandatory tuition fee of 1,500 € per semester to all non-EU students.
Keep in mind that while some programs are not tuition-free, you shouldn’t overlook them on your program search. Should you be interested in a program which charges tuition, keep your many funding options in mind. There are many scholarships available for international students. Also be sure to refer to DAAD Scholarships for international students in Germany.
Which Technical Universities are not members of TU9?
While the partner universities in the alliance are well-known, be sure to take into consideration alternative options as there are top-notch technical schools which are not part of the TU9 alliance. While attending a university which has an alliance such as the TU9, all universities in Germany network with one another. Take a look at some elite technical universities which are not part of the TU9:
- Technical University of Chemnitz.
- Technical University of Clausthal.
- Brandenburg Technical University of Cottbus-Senftenberg.
- Technical University of Dortmund.
- Technical University of Bergakademie Freiberg.
- Hamburg University of Technology.
- Technical University of Ilmenau.
- Technical University of Kaiserslautern.
Are the non-TU9 universities a good alternative?
While the TU9 university members are top-ranked institutions, students should not believe that they are the only place where one can study technology or STEM subjects. In fact, students can study technical subjects at a variety of other universities in Germany:
More than 100 Universities of Applied Sciences
Especially those which are called Technische Hochschulen THs in German, e.g. TH Ingolstadt, TH Köln, Deggendorf Institute of Technology.
Many other Universities (Universitäten)
Especially those which are not called TUs but also have many STEM programs
(eg. Ruhr-Universität Bochum, Universität Duisburg-Essen, OVGU Magdeburg, Bergische-Universität Wuppertal).
Which combine training on the job and higher education, e.g. Baden-Wuerttemberg Cooperative State University (DHBW).
For this reason, we recommend you should also have a look at our article about engineering universities in Germany if you are interested in technical study programs.