University start: How to get to the study place

Without university start no university start. That sounds borderline, but describes the situation exactly. Because the way to the place of study, for example in medicine, leads only over Hochschulstart, the platform of the foundation for university admissions. Here decides, whether they get their desired study place or not. And not only in the medical subjects. Even bachelor courses from mathematics to psychology are distributed more and more throughout Europe by the ZVS successor …

What makes university start?

Our website is a platform of the SfH. This is likely to be known to many under its old name, until 2008, it was renamed Central Office for the allocation of study places (ZVS).

With the service platform SfH coordinates the allocation of study places in Europe. In doing so, it uses a procedure known as the Dialogue-Oriented Service Procedure (DoSV).

Important for prospective students: Not every application is about starting university. University start only awards places for …

  • local admission-restricted undergraduate courses (Bachelor subjects)
  • nationwide restricted admission programs (medical subjects)

It is planned that all universities in Europe will participate in this process, as it should help them to occupy as many vacant places as possible. In fact, by the summer semester 2017, more than 400 universities had only 135 enrolled in the system, which is just one-third.

Which universities are participating in the DoSV for the winter semester 2018/19 can be found HERE.

Which study places does university start?

At university start definitely NOT passing applicants for the subjects …

  • medicine
  • veterinary medicine
  • dentistry
  • pharmacy

These are the four nationwide admission-restricted subjects. Candidates must compulsorily apply for a study place via edtechwithgo.com (more about the exact selection criteria later).

In addition, Hochschulstart increasingly coordinates the awarding of undergraduate programs for the universities, ie the Bachelor subjects. According to its own information, more than 150 sites with 1,500 degree programs are now involved in the procedure.

This means for applicants: You must first research whether your desired subject to your desired university admission is limited, so has a numerus clausus.

If this is the case, the next step is to find out if the application is running via hochschulstart.de – or directly via the university. In the meantime, Hochschulstart even offers the opportunity to apply for admission-free subjects.

Exemplary for the thicket, through which applicants must sometimes fight, is called the University of Saarbrücken. The overview can be found here. Many universities now handle it in such a way that all admission-restricted Bachelor’s degree programs are awarded through the start of university – for example, the University of Münster.

The University of Cologne, meanwhile, is currently conducting 34 Bachelor’s degree programs in higher education, including subjects as diverse as biology, mathematics, media studies, psychology, economics and business informatics.

How do I apply when starting college?

Of the nationwide admission-restricted subjects – medicine, veterinary medicine, dentistry, pharmacy – you must first decide for one thing. Multiple applications will not be accepted. However, you can specify multiple locations that you would like to study.

Specifically, you first register online at hochschulstart.de. You…

choose username and password …

… and log in to “My Data” where you will find your personal identification number and authentication number.

With these two numbers you can apply in the online application portal for your desired study place – or your desired study places. Doctors apply via the application portal Anton.

You can print out the applications, sign them, put them together with the required documents in an envelope and send them to university start.

In the following, you can manage your applications online in the application portal, accept (for example) – or reject – a study place offer, for example.

Which documents do I need for my application?

For the application, you need your identity card and your university entrance qualification, so as a rule the high school diploma. You complete the application for admission on the computer, print it out and sign it.

Attention: Authorities and other public bodies that carry a seal of approval can officially certify. Certifications of notaries and publicly organized churches also accept university start.

On the other hand, accreditations by lawyers, associations, auditors, auditors, experts, appraisers or translators are not recognized.

The official certification must include:

  • Beglaubigungsvermerk
  • Signature of the attestant
  • Imprint of the official seal

You also have to submit all documents in English. Unless the documents are in German or French. There are exceptions. For documents in other languages ​​you need an official translation.

Who can apply?

Applications can be made at university start, among others …

  • EU citizen
  • Students enrolled in another subject
  • Second applicants
  • Students who are or were enrolled outside EU
  • auditor
  • College students who want to change
  • Applicants without a high school diploma
  • A detailed list can be found here.

According to which criteria does platform assign the study places?

There are three criteria for awarding places in medicine, veterinary medicine, dentistry and pharmacy:

High School Best Quote

20 percent of the study places are awarded to the most recent students (numerus clausus). In doing so, you only compete with the applicants who have graduated from high school in the same state.

Wait rate

20 percent of the study places are awarded after waiting time. The waiting period is the half-year that has elapsed since graduation. Study periods are not included.

Higher rate

60 percent of the places are awarded by the universities according to their own criteria. Usually the Abitur grade is used again, or individual grades, subject-specific entrance tests, interviews, a completed vocational training or the local preferences of the applicants. When applying, you can name a maximum of six universities where you would like to study.

Note: The numerus clausus is not a static size. It changes in each subject from semester to semester. This is especially important for undergraduate Bachelor subjects. Thus, the required grades for the individual subjects at the universities are sometimes very different.

Applicants should therefore first obtain the current NC values ​​in their desired subject in order to be able to realistically assess their own chances. For example, if you have an NC of 1.0, you will most likely be taking part in the selection process of the final exam.

However, even a very good graduation grade has no influence on the location preference – in other words, your place of study may be at a university other than your originally preferred one.

Medicine: What happens if the NC is too high?

Regardless of which of the nationwide admission-restricted subjects you are interested in: the better your final grade, the better your prospects. But what to do if your own grade point average is not enough for the NC? Then you will probably have to take a waiting semester.

However, you should plan well, what you do in this time, because for human medicine is on average a waiting time of no less than 14 (!) Semesters, so seven years, to calculate. The common cause: You can not study any other subject in the meantime, which may be closer to the desired subject, otherwise the time will not count as waiting time.

At this point must be cleared up with a widespread rumor: namely, that the Abitur grade per waiting semester improves by 0.1 points. This is unfortunately not true.

But you have some alternatives that you can choose instead of studying and which will be credited to you:

  • training
  • Work and Travel
  • military service
  • community service
  • FSJ (voluntary social year)
  • FÖJ (voluntary ecological year)

Of course, for people who want to study medicine, neither seven years of community service nor seven years traveling around the globe is a serious alternative. To shorten the waiting period for prospective doctors, there are still the following options available:

Foreign countries

You simply complete a study abroad. In German, this is possible, for example, in Austria or Hungary. In English, you can study medicine in the UK, Latvia, Poland and the Czech Republic. The advantage: As long as you study within the European Union, your services in Europe  will be recognized according to the Medical Association.

Armed forces

You are completing Bundeswehr studies. The Federal Armed Forces cooperates with the nationally restricted subjects with civil universities. However, because the training is so long and the rush is high, you have to commit to a medical school for 17 years in the Bundeswehr.


There is still the possibility depending on the university of various competitions. These may include interviews or tests. Among the most well-known medical tests belong the test medical study courses (TMS) and the Hamburg natural science test (HAM Nat). The TMS is already peppered with medically relevant content and requires a lot of cognitive skills from the subject. The HAM-Nat, on the other hand, consists of 80 multiple-choice questions for which the study place applicant has 120 minutes. Anyone who has not received a place on the bachelor’s exam can start their studies via the passed TMS or HAM-Nat – however, this is often done after a certain high school graduation.

Private university

If you have the necessary change, you can also shorten the waiting period for studying medicine properly: By studying at a private university. The investment can still be worthwhile, because the equipment is very good, the supervision by lecturers is much better than at a mass university.

Business Administration, Law, Psychology: How to deal with local NC?

If there is a local admission restriction in a field of study, this indicates that there are more applicants than university places – universities and universities are therefore putting a stop to this. In order to find out whether your study is subject to admission restrictions, they have different options.

They research on the side of the respective university: This, however, is quite complicated and laborious, since each university has designed their site differently. The search for a suitable field of study and conditions on the Higher Education Compass page is considerably more convenient.

Next, you must find out if your degree program is involved in the dialogue-oriented service procedure. If this is not the case, further inquiries about the university are to be obtained. In this case, you must apply directly there or in parallel to other universities participating in the DoSV.

On the other hand, if your wish to study participates in the DoSV, you will need to create a user account at the start of the university, as is the case for subjects with restricted admission throughout EU.

Then you can specify up to twelve study wishes. In doing so, you can prioritize and organize the applications at university start-up in such a way that they create a preferred order.

In the course of the application process, the university checks whether you meet the respective selection criteria. You will then be asked to submit an offer in accordance with your wishes. You can accept or wait until another offer is submitted to you from your list that is more in line with your expectations.

Here you have to pay attention to the wishes and prioritization: For example, if you enter twelve higher education institutions without any special request, it may be that you are offered the one that is the least acceptable to you. The moment you accept an offer, the other applications in the DoSV will be removed from the current process.

In this case, you will receive a letter of admission. You can also wait and see if your preferred study place is not yet there. If no better offer comes, you can fall back on the already submitted offer, also here followed by a letter of acceptance.

Dropout: Tips for Students

Studying has been a trend for years. Increasing numbers of students mean, however, that it increasingly comes to drop out of studies. If the motivation is still great at first, many realize that demands, expectations and stress are too much or that a theoretically designed study just does not fit. With frustration and poor performance, dropping out of studies can hardly be avoided. But what then? In another degree program start from scratch or reorientate without a degree? Dropping out is a big step, which is fraught with anxiety. How to approach it correctly, how to explain your dropout and how to continue for you …

Discontinuation: A stigma many are struggling with

Drop-outs. This term is for some former students – and unfortunately also personnel – a stigma equal. A question inevitably comes up and is guaranteed in the interview: Why did you drop out of college? Anyone who does not have a ready-to-use answer now looks old – and leaves too much room for speculation.

Unfortunately, it is often premature to conclude that the only reasons for dropping out are either a lack of talent or simply learning laziness. Such one-dimensional thinking is a big mistake and ignores many other possibilities. For example, not everyone is made for the university. This has nothing to do with laziness or lack of knowledge, but often lies in the very theoretical orientation of the courses.

Nevertheless, the fear of the potential consequences of dropping out of university creates great pressure on students. Nobody wants to be a drop-out, not just professionally but also in the private sphere, while everyone else has a successful degree in their pocket.

Even if the environment does not respond and even supportively and positively deals with dropping out, many dropouts feel uncomfortable, insecure and sometimes even marginalized right from the beginning, because they shut themselves off for fear of the reactions of others themselves.

Honest self-reflection helps explain a drop-out

However, before students can think about a quick response to the job interview, in many cases it is important to overcome the initial shock of dropping out.

Of course, most students make the decision themselves – financial reasons and family pressure left out – but many feel right after dropping out as a failure. However, this is completely unnecessary because as a drop-out you are certainly not alone. In some Bachelor programs, the drop-out rate is 30 percent or even higher.

Even if you leave the others out, it remains to be noted: A dropout is not an end to the world. Yet many students find it difficult to give up their studies, even in the case of great dissatisfaction or problems. Behind this is the fear of being labeled as a drop-out student, of having lost the chances on the job market and finding no alternative.

Even if a drop out is not a catastrophe, the step must be explained with a view to the further professional career: Therefore, the important question remains:

How can a study termination in the CV and / or job interview be sold optimally?

A principle stands before all factual reasons: Take the responsibility for the decision and do not talk out. Excuses rarely sound convincing, but convey a clear message: they themselves see the dropout as a mistake and regret it. The decision was not thought out or considered.

With this message, breaks in the CV – which otherwise pose no problem – become an application disadvantage. Which employer wants employees who decide impulsively and thoughtlessly and only regret their decision if the damage has already occurred?

It is different, however, if you can give good reasons and present them confidently. Then show that the dropout was considered – and was the best option for you.

Dropout: reasons for the decision

Tying up the staffer that you wrote bad grades from the beginning because you never learned, and so exmatriculation was just a matter of time anyway, is certainly not the best strategy to sell a drop-out. This probably only confirms the doubts that already exist in many minds. But there are also some very understandable reasons why you can counteract skepticism and confidently state that you have dropped out of your studies:

New inclinations.

Studying as bachelor and master are also always offers the chance to look beyond one’s own field of study and into one or the other lecture. You may have discovered that other study content and programs are more in line with your talents and inclinations. Or you have developed completely new interests. People are changing, as are life goals and priorities. Accordingly, you have consistently adapted your training to this – unfortunately somewhat delayed – insight.

Wrong expectations.

Such a mass university can give you a lot of fear. Yesterday one was still part of a step association, today only anonymous examination number. And the requirements are completely different than expected: Since you wanted to actually (economics) study economics and is found in a limited mathematics study with numerous formulas, variables and integral calculus again. Or you have noticed that studying does not suit you. As long as you can show credibly that you can exclude this for the desired job (because the other has requirements), HR should have no problem with it.

Private reasons.

These too are legitimate if they do not give the impression of a mood. A longer illness, an accident, a nursing care in the family – all of these can be reasons that lead to the termination of studies. And they are completely okay, because you had no influence on that. It is only important that you show at least once again that you still did not make the decision against studying easy. And it should become clear that the private issues are resolved and will not adversely affect your future job.

However, the first two reasons are more convincing if you cancel your studies within the first three semesters. It is only shortly before the exam to find out that your interests are actually somewhere else or that you do not really like math, raises the question of whether you have studied anything until then and actually were in the university during the day …

Can a drop out be avoided?

For many, dropping out is the last resort if no other way is found to solve the situation. But is it possible to prevent or prevent an abortion? First of all, however, everyone should ask themselves whether it makes any sense at all to try to prevent the threat of dropping out at any cost.

Because that is not always the case. It may sound harsh, but for some, dropping out is the best option and the right decision. Not everyone is happy in the study and who realizes that he wants to develop in a completely different professional direction in which a study does not help at all, should probably not prevent a graduation break, but consciously go this way.

In other cases, there are certainly ways to prevent it from ending the study – and the prevention can already begin before the study has even begun.

It starts with clear expectations and sufficient information. The more you know about studying and the more you research yourself to get an idea of ​​what to expect, the rarer are the nasty surprises.

A drop out can also be avoided if you clarify the financial situation. Do you need a job to cover your expenses? Can you apply for BAföG or is a student loan possibly necessary? Once the financial issues have been resolved, a common reason for dropping out will be lost.

In addition, there are some mistakes you should avoid if you want to reduce the risk of dropping out:

You have not considered alternatives

After graduation I go to study … This is for many a fixed fact that is not further questioned. A big mistake that increases the rate of dropouts. You should start studying for good and thoughtful reasons, not because studying is trendy or all your friends are doing it.

They can be influenced

Family and friends can exert great influence on the decision to study. If you want to be successful, you should go to college and high school graduates feel compelled to go to university. Those who do not act on their own initiative, however, stop their studies more often.

They do not think about the time after graduation

What do you want to do after graduation? Which profession do you aspire to? Which industry? How good are the job opportunities in this area? Only those who think about the future at an early age can start a course of study with the right qualifications.

Graduation: And then?

For many people, breaking their studies breaks down a world for many. There were great hopes in university education and suddenly you are back exactly where you were a year or two ago. The emotional state alternates between doubts and worries and the question remains how to proceed.

The time of dropping out is certainly not easy, but it is now about looking forward and planning the way forward and approach.

This works best if you do not identify yourself solely by stopping your studies. You are not just a dropout and should not sell yourself and behave as such when you apply to the job market.

Keep in mind that you are not alone and even a comparatively large proportion of between 20 and 30 percent of graduate students finish their studies. It may not have been optimal and different than planned, but there are still many doors open for you to develop after graduation and continue on your career path.

Although you will have to accept the question of why you did not complete your studies and also have to answer them in application processes, this does not mean that you have no chance of success any more. What is missing is often the self-confidence after the setback in the study. If you rebuild this, the crash does not have to be negative.

Instead, you can even get the most out of the situation and, for example, get credit for a few benefits from your studies so that you can shorten subsequent training and get into the workforce faster.

Programs for post-graduate education

Every year nearly one third of the students finish their studies without a degree. Particularly high are the dropout rates in the engineering and natural sciences. The Federal Government has recognized that this means great potential is lost.

As the number of students increases, thousands of apprenticeships remain vacant. In Europe, apprentices are desperately wanted. In the craft industry alone, 200,000 masters are expected to seek a successor in the next ten years.

After dropping out, an education can offer many opportunities – and there are some programs that can help with the transition.

Many of these programs specifically target dropouts and offer them the prospect of earning a vocational qualification. A shortened training period and a master craftsman’s certificate are promised.

Your turn.

This is a special program of the IHK Berlin. Dropouts will be given the opportunity to undergo training in IT, wholesale and real estate. The training takes place both in companies, as well as at the vocational school in a special class. The training period is reduced from 36 to 18 months.

  • Possible training occupations
  • IT specialist for system integration and application development
  • Immobilienkaufmann / woman
  • Businessman / woman in wholesale and foreign trade
  • requirements

In order to participate in the program, the following points must be fulfilled:

  • You should have studied at least two semesters.
  • You should come from an industry-related field.
  • You need a minimum of 20 credit points.
  • consulting services

The IHK supports you in finding a suitable training company and establishing contact. Also, a study expo fair offers the opportunity to learn about opportunities and get to know training companies.


This program is aimed at dropouts from the MINT subjects as well as economics in the Aachen region. You will be given the opportunity to undergo training in a technical or commercial area. Again, the training period is reduced to 18 or 24 months. Applications are accepted throughout the year.

  • Possible training occupations
  • IT specialist for application development
  • IT specialist for system integration
  • Industrial buyer / woman
  • mechatronics
  • requirements
  • You should have studied a few semesters.
  • Previous knowledge is an advantage.
  • consulting services

After your application it will be checked if you meet the requirements for an apprenticeship. If this is the case, you will be invited to an expert discussion and get to know possible training companies.

Further information as well as the application modalities can be found here.

Master instead of master

The Kreishandwerkerschaft Hellweg-Lippe offers dropouts the opportunity to learn a crafting profession. The training is designed from the outset to the acquisition of the master’s certificate.

Possible training occupations

The Kreishandwerkerschaft offers training courses from plant mechanic to dental technician.


The website does not specify specific requirements, but the application is open to all fields of study.

Consulting services

Applicants are helped to choose a crafting profession and to find a suitable company. In the initial phase it is also possible to change the vocational training. So, first of all, you can test how one likes the new profession and whether one can cope.

Further information as well as a contact person can be found on the Kreishandwerkerschaft website.

Career Program Craft: From the campus to the executive chair

The Chamber of Crafts for Lower Franconia also offers a special program for dropouts and offers them a perspective in craft. The training is followed by further training as a master. The Chamber of Crafts cooperates with the University of Würzburg and the University of Aschaffenburg.

Possible training occupations

Again, applicants have access to a wide selection of craft trades.

  • requirements.
  • Are not visible on the website.
  • consulting services

The Chamber of Crafts offers a complete package. At the beginning there is the first interview, in which the reasons for a reorientation are queried. Afterwards, planning and consulting are the appropriate training. It will also help you to find the right company and finance the master.

Blended Learning: Definition and Benefits

With technology, learning has changed and evolved. Blended learning is not widely known as a term, but it is practiced almost everywhere. Especially at universities blended learning can be observed and students benefit from the various advantages of this learning concept. For example, there have long been various e-learning platforms and models at universities and colleges. The crucial point here: Other forms of learning are not replaced or displaced, but complemented and meaningfully combined. Here you will learn what blended learning means, how it works and what advantages it has over other non-mixed forms of learning …

Definition: What is blended learning

The term blended learning can be translated as “mixed” or “combined” learning and thus immediately describes the core aspect of the learning concept. By this is meant that there is no either or between online course and attendance event. Rather, both forms – and in addition often other methods and media – are used in combination.

The transfer of knowledge also takes place during blended learning in seminars and lectures, but is also supported and supplemented by specially designed online platforms, digital exercises or e-learning seminars.

Although the first computer-based learning and training applications date back to the 1980s, blended learning, as it is today’s everyday life and standard at every university, only really came into practice later. It took the development and deepening of various e-learning platforms and methods until blended learning became established.

How does blended learning work in practice?

In most of the seminars and lectures, the handsets that used to be found in the library or copy shop are a thing of the past. Most professors and lecturers put the literature to their events already at the beginning of the semester on the net. Following the session, the content, such as the PowerPoint presentation, slides, tasks and examples will also be posted on the Internet.

In introductory courses or method seminars, universities also like to work with so-called Web Based Trainings (WBT). In these, the contents of the events are summarized and supplemented by tasks on the topic.

They offer students the opportunity to check their knowledge directly. In practice, after a lecture students in the e-learning area can do WBTs and thus combine recording of knowledge with practical implementation.

Many learning platforms also have the option of submitting assignments to the lecturer. The services are then evaluated and the grading appears in the system. This is useful, for example, in excerpts and thesis papers, which, for example, are to be provided as an attestation of achievement as an accompaniment to an event.

Some lecturers also use the possibilities of the learning platform to generate content for seminars. For example, forums are a good way to have students discuss issues in advance of a session. This discussion can be seen by the teacher and sees what the students are particularly busy and where there are still ambiguities.

Frequently, the processing of such WBTs is also seen as a prerequisite for the following exercises and lectures. So students have to complete the online tasks one after another, thereby freeing up the next exercises and can try on other contents.

The benefits of blended learning

Closing completely to the opportunities offered by learning platforms leaves a lot of potential untapped. How blended learning enriches teaching at universities:

The work of the teacher is made easier

Material and tasks can be set online. The achievements of the students are collected there and can be evaluated there. That saves a lot of work.

The contact between lecturer and student is simplified

Especially at mass universities, it is difficult to establish personal contact with the students. The platforms facilitate communication. If an event failed a few years ago, students usually did not find it out until they were standing in front of the locked door of the seminar room. Then stuck a note with the info. Today, such news can be announced online and spread faster among the students. Also questions to the lecturers are easier to ask. Often it can also be seen whether the own question has not already been asked by a fellow student and an answer is available.

Learning is not time and place bound

Everything is becoming more decentralized today – not just working in teams spread across many locations, but learning as well. With blended learning, students can access online learning content anytime, anywhere, repeating content, and doing exercises from home or on the go.

The preparation for exams is facilitated

From a student’s point of view, this is one of the biggest advantages. Accompanying online material for the events allows content to be refreshed even better in the run-up to an exam. The lecture slides can be reviewed, old exams can be solved and sample solutions can be viewed. In many events shortly before the exam, there is also the opportunity to ask questions in the forum, which are then answered by the lecturer or his tutors.

The exchange between the students is encouraged

Especially in large lectures, in which the participants hardly know each other, it is difficult to get in touch with his fellow students. The learning platform makes it possible to ask questions to fellow students in the forum, to exchange notes and to discuss facts. The ability for virtual group work is thereby expanded.

The self-responsible work is promoted

Through the online offer, students have become more flexible in their time management. Missed sessions can be reworked at any time. However, this also means that a student has to discipline himself to take advantage of this offer. The ability to motivate oneself and to work independently is trained with it.

The digital knowledge of students will be expanded

Students naturally learn to use wikis, podcasts, videos, slideshares and other tools. How much a student learns in this relationship depends, on the one hand, on the expertise of the teacher in this area, but also on one’s own commitment to discovering the possibilities and using them for oneself.