Publication of Numerus Clausus Check reveals percentages in winter semester 2017/18

Mid-July is the closing date for applications for many degree programmes subject to restricted admission starting next winter semester. The latest Numerus Clausus Check by the CHE Centre for Higher Education reveals significant differences between federal states as well as between subjects. Even so, more than half of all degree programmes on average can be embarked on without a selection procedure. CHE Consult was involved in conducting the study and has posted interactive visualisations on the internet.

Germany’s three city-states and Saarland are the federal states with the highest proportion of numerus clausus (NC) subjects. Hamburg has the highest percentage (75.5 per cent) of degree programmes subject to restricted admission starting in winter semester 2017/18, followed by Saarland, Berlin and Bremen (approx. 62 per cent each). Mecklenburg-West Pomerania has the lowest proportion of NC subjects (20.1 per cent). Here, applicants can enrol directly for four out of five degree programmes starting next winter semester – without a selection procedure taking place, e.g. based on Abitur examination grades. In total, 42.4 per cent of all degree programmes throughout Germany are subject to NC.


The NC Check also revealed major differences between subjects. The group of subjects with the highest proportion of NC degree programmes is Law, Economics, Social Sciences and Humanities (approx. 53 per cent). In contrast, around 70 per cent of all degree programmes offered in the group of subjects involving Languages and Cultural Sciences are open to all applicants.


The percentage of degree programmes subject to restricted admission at universities (41.2 per cent) is lower than the percentage of degree programmes at universities of applied sciences (46 per cent). A comparison of Bachelor and Master’s programmes reveals that 46 per cent of degrees at Bachelor level are currently subject to numerus clausus restrictions, which is somewhat higher than the rate at Master’s level (39.9 per cent).


The “CHE Numerus Clausus Check 2017/18” is based on NC data contained in the Higher Education Compass provided by the German Rectors’ Conference for around 19,000 degree programmes in winter semester 2017/18, as well as relevant data from previous years. The federal state, type of higher education institution, degree type and group of subjects were used as criteria for the analysis.




Lars Hüning+49 30 2332267-56Write e-mail