The German capital of Berlin is one of the most populous cities in the European Union. It is the undoubted center of politics, culture, media, and of course, education. Not only is it home to some of the best universities in the world, but most of them are free for international students too. If you’re thinking of taking advantage of Berlin’s tuition-free education, then make sure to apply to any of these free universities in Berlin.
1. Freie Universität Berlin (Free University of Berlin)
The first university in our list of free universities in Berlin is the Freie Universität Berlin – also known as FU or FU Berlin. It is one of the eleven prestigious members of the German Universities Excellence Initiative. Founded in 1948 in the now-defunct West Berlin, it was then considered the ‘western’ branch of the Frederick William University.
FU Berlin offers undergraduate and post-graduate studies in Biology, Chemistry, Pharmacy, Earth Science, History, Law, Business & Economics, Mathematics & Computer Science, Education & Psychology, Philosophy & Humanities, Physics, Political Science, Medicine, and Veterinary Medicine. These departments are settled throughout the different FU Berlin campuses in Dahlem, Lankwitz, Duppel, and Benjamin Franklin.
FU Berlin is one of the many German universities that do not levy tuition fees (except some fees or charges) for bachelor’s studies. Some post-graduate studies, however, come with some additional fees.
2. Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin (Humboldt University of Berlin)
Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin or HU Berlin is a public educational institution located in the borough of Mitte. Founded in 1810 as the University of Berlin, it was also previously known as the Friedrich William University. In 1949, it was formally named and dedicated to the Prussian intellectuals Alexander and Wilhelm Von Humboldt.
HU Berlin, a free university in Berlin for international students, offers undergraduate and post-graduate studies through its 9 faculties of Law, Math & Natural Science, Life Science, Medicine, Philosophy (I & II), Humanities & Social Science, Theology, and Economics & Business Administration.
HU Berlin, which had Albert Einstein, Erwin Schrödinger, and Max Planck as its faculty, has quite a teeming international student population. 18% of its enrollees are foreigners, which equates to more than 6,000 learners.
3. Universität der Künste Berlin (Berlin University of the Arts)
Universität der Künste Berlin, colloquially known as UdK, is one of the city’s four research universities. Dedicated to the study of art and design, it is the biggest of its kind (art school) in all of Europe.
It can trace its beginnings back to the year 1696 as the Academie der Mal-, Bild- und Baukunst, which later on became the Prussian Academy of the Arts. The merging of 2 art schools in 1975 eventually led to the creation of the Hochschule der Künste Berlin. In 2001, the former HdK was granted full university status.
UdK is presently the home of 4 colleges that offer undergraduate and post-graduate studies in the fields of fine arts, media & design, music, and architecture.
As with most free universities in Berlin, UdK only levies a fee of 320 Euros per student, per semester. Music and Performing Arts students also have to pay an additional fee of 30 Euros for the application process.
4. Technische Universität Berlin (Technical University of Berlin)
TU Berlin, also known as the Berlin Institute of Technology, was founded in the year 1770 as the Königliche Bergakademie zu Berlin (Royal Technical Academy of Berlin). As one of the first institutes to adopt the name ‘technical university’, this TU9 member is considered as one of the finest technological institutes in the whole of Germany.
The TU Berlin campus is primarily located Charlottenburg-Wilmersdorf, though are several other branches nestled in Berlin. All in all, these properties comprise a total of 604,000 sq.m. of land.
This free university in Berlin is organized into the 7 faculties of Humanities & Educational Science, Math & Natural Science, Process Science, Electrical Engineering & Computer Science, Mechanical Engineering & Transport, Planning Building Environment, and Economics & Management.
TU Berlin has the country’s largest international student body at a whopping 26% – that’s 5,900 students overall.
5. Hochschule für Technik und Wirtschaft (University of Applied Sciences for Engineering and Economics)
HTW Berlin, next on our list of free universities in Berlin, is the biggest school for applied sciences in East Germany. Although it was only officially founded in 1994, the school can trace its beginnings back to the Technical School for Demontage, Montage, and Design, which was founded in the year 1874.
HTW Berlin has 2 campuses in the city. One is the Treskowallee branch, which is considered the main campus of the university. The other is the Wilhelminenhof branch, which is located in the southeastern part of Berlin.
Like TU Berlin, HTW Berlin is divided into 5 ‘numbered’ faculties. These are the School of Engineering – Energy & Information and Technology & Life, the Business School, the School of Computing, Communication, & Business, and the School of Design & Culture.
True to its goal of internationalization, HTW Berlin offers 5 English-taught programs for its prospective foreign students.
6. Beuth Hochschule für Technik Berlin (Beuth University of Applied Sciences Berlin)
Founded in 1823, BHT Berlin is the second-biggest university of applied science in Berlin. It traces its beginnings back to the Royal Academy for Gardening, which first opened its doors in the year 1823. It was then renamed the Beuth Academy for Engineering in Berlin, before adopting its current name in the year 2009.
BHT Berlin is home to one faculty (Economics & Social Science) and 7 departments. The latter deal with the studies of Math, Physics, & Chemistry, Civil Engineering & Geography, Architecture & Building Technology, Life Sciences & Technology, Computer Science & Media, Electrical Engineering & Mechatronics, and Mechanical & Process Engineering.
Like most public universities in Germany, BHT Berlin is tuition-free for international students. Foreigners only have to pay a nominal fee of about 300+ Euros every semester.
7. Kunsthochschule Berlin-Weißensee (Weißensee Academy of Art Berlin)
We end our list of free universities in Berlin with the Weißensee Academy of Art Berlin, a young school founded about 50 years ago. Here, students need to undertake a one-year program to learn the basics of art and design. Afterward, the enrollees can choose from any of the specializations offered by the school, which include degrees in Design (Product Design, Fashion Design, Textile & Surface Design, and Visual Communication) or Art (Fine Arts – Painting, Sculpture, and Stage & Costume Design).
Despite being a small school, the Weißensee Academy of Art Berlin has a rather diverse student population. To date, 30% of its students come from all various parts of the globe.
I hope that this article on the free universities in Berlin was helpful.