The educational system of Germany is undergoing continuous changes and reforms. Main point in the last years was the reorganization of the Gymnasium. The nine year education was changed into an eight year education to get the Abitur. Furthermore, the academic system had changed because of the Bologna reform. The degrees obtained are now called Bachelor and Master.
Studying in Germany requires the graduate degree Abitur or the advanced technical college entrance qualification. International students have to show a similar graduate degree. Until now it was not possible to build a central organization for application and award of university places. Because of this the applications still need to be sent to every university or advanced technical college.
The admission requirements are also defined by the universities. Therefore, they can be different for the same subjects at different universities. In Germany there are three different kinds of advanced colleges or universities. Arts, film or music advanced colleges offer practical education in the artistic subjects. Advanced technical colleges however, cover the scientific and social subjects. They also set value on practical experiences in their education. The third category is the so called university. They offer all different kinds of subjects. Practical experience is an important point as well but the universities are especially famous for their firm theoretical education.
Another differentiation can be made between public and private universities. Public universities are financed by the government and do not charge tuition fees or just small amounts of money. Private universities in contrast are financed by the fees paid by students and these can be quite expensive. In Germany we can find much more public universities than the private ones. German law says that education should be offered to everyone and everyone should be able to afford adequate education. Therefore, in some states tuition fees were abolished in other states they are very small.
It is very useful to look at the DAAD website to learn more about the universities and the admissions etc…