Education: studying in the Ruhr region

Education plays a major role in the Metropole Ruhr. For the future development of the region education is one of the most important factors in the structural transition from an industrial to a knowledge-based society. Alongside a range of study options that is the best in Europe, lifelong learning also plays a key role in the future of the Ruhr region. A broad selection of training and further training offers, supported by trade associations, the chambers of trade and commerce, trade unions and numerous private bodies offer the best prerequisites for this.

The highest density of further education establishments in Europe

With 22 universities and colleges, the Ruhr region has the highest density of further education establishments anywhere in Europe. These include five universities alone in the cities of Bochum, Dortmund, Duisburg, Essen and Witten, as well as Hagen as the site of the only state distance university in Germany. In addition, Folkwang University of the Arts is an internationally-acclaimed art college with its base in the Ruhr region. These are joined by 17 universities of applied sciences, where students have the opportunity to undertake practice-relevant and qualified studies in various subjects, such as economics, logistics, administration or management.

Education put to the test

In 2012 the Ruhr region was the first region in Germany to present a cross-municipality education report, the Ruhr Education Report. This delivers a comprehensive analysis of the education system in the Ruhr region – from infant education to schooling and vocational training and on to universities, adult education and education offers in the scope of youth work, sports clubs and cultural education. The insights that these provide enable the range of educational offers in the Ruhr region to be improved continuously. The Metropole Ruhr occupies a leading position in the state of North Rhine-Westphalia with regard to all-day supervision in schools, for example. The university landscape has also become considerably more attractive and varied. 

All offers for education in the Ruhr region at a glance

Bildungschancen Ruhr

  • Here you will find further information regarding childcare in North Rhine-Westphalia and the Ruhr region. Your contact and first place for advice on all issues regarding childcare is the youth welfare service of the town or city in which you live. The contact addresses can usually be found on the websites of the respective towns and cities.

Childcare at universities
Database with complete overview of childcare at universities in NRW

  • Overview of childcare facilities in the towns and cities of the Ruhr region:

Childcare in Bochum

Childcare in Bottrop

Childcare in Dortmund

Childcare in Duisburg

Childcare in Essen

Childcare in Gelsenkirchen

Childcare in Hagen

Childcare in Hamm

Childcare in Herne

Childcare in Mülheim an der Ruhr

Childcare in Oberhausen

Childcare in the district of Recklinghausen

  • As part of the state of North Rhine-Westphalia, the school system in the Ruhr region is divided into primary schools and secondary schools. Pupils have the opportunity to acquire various school qualifications, such as the Abitur at grammar schools and comprehensive schools. All information regarding the school system can be found on the info portal of the German Federal Government:


The school system in Germany

International School Ruhr Essen

St. George´s International School Duisburg

  • Further information on the German school system can be found here:

German Education Server
Information portal regarding education and the school system in Germany


  • Vocational training in Germany consists of a theoretical and a practical part. Trainees learn theory either on a weekly basis or as block lessons in a vocational school, with practice taught directly at companies. This system of training is known as "dual vocational training". The period of training lasts from two to three and a half years.
  • All important information regarding vocational training in Germany can be found on these websites:
  • In the apprenticeship exchange of the chamber of industry and commerce (IHK) you can look for unfilled apprenticeship positions and training places:

IHK apprenticeship exchange

  • An overview about apprenticeship exchanges within the Ruhr region are offered by


  • The Ruhr region has 22 universities and higher education establishments, including universities, universities of applied sciences and an art and music college. Information regarding the differences between the various types of university can be found on the portal of the University Conference:

Types of university

  • The options for completing a course of studies are now more varied than ever. Whether full-time or in addition to a job, on a university campus or at home - there is something to suit everyone. Here you can find out the differences in the various forms of studying in Germany:

Forms of study
Information from the University Conference regarding full-time and part-time studies, distance studies, studying and working in parallel, dual and international studies


Schools in the Ruhr region

European Schools: more Europe – more exchange – more diversity

European Schools offer a special European profile which needs to be certified periodically. Quality criteria include bilingual lessons, an Europe-Curriculum, analysis  a profound debate about of European  affairs in class, international projects, partnerships and initiatives such as exchange programmes, competitions or European project days.
In the Ruhr region, there are 63 certified European Schools.

An overview of universities and colleges are offered by

University Co-operation in the Ruhr region

Universities of Bochum, Dortmund und Duisburg-Essen co-operate to empower the efficiency and research.

UA Ruhr

Die Ruhr Master School is an practising orientated offer for students at Master of engineering and IT that is connetced at University of Applied Sciences Bochum, Universitäy of Apllied Sciences and Art Dortmund and University of Applied Sciences Gelsenkirchen.

Ruhr Master School

UniverCity Bochum is an hhigher education network of 12 institutions, 7 of them Universities and colleges from Bochum. The aim is to strenghten Bochum as a science and education hot spot by cennected offers like study orientation.

UniverCity Bochum

In the Masterplan Science, Dortmund's higher education and science institutions work together across institutions. Together with stakeholders from economy, culture, politics and administration, the aim is to create an attractive environment for (international) students, scientists and professionals to learn, research and work.  

Science and Academia in Dortmund

TalentKolleg Ruhr is a network for consultation, orientation and qualification for pupils from non-traditionell academic target groups at the three university Duisburg-Essen, University of Applied Sciences and Art Dortmund and University of Applied Sciences Gelsenkirchen.


Universität Duisburg-Essen

FH Dortmund

Westfälische Hochschule