With college (Latin: collegium, community) an academic study community is called. Depending on the region, a different learning step meant by the of secondary education in France, the Collège, up to a variant of the university faculty, college.

At the medieval universities, the college was a group of students and teachers who lived together in a house and worked, which was based on a foundation.


A college in Germany is an institute of adult education in order to obtain the general higher education entrance qualification. Usually it takes three years before you can take the nationwide High School. After two years, it is usually possible to obtain the school part of the technical college.

The lessons, daytime granted otherwise than at night school and thus is aimed at former professionals who wish to broaden their educational qualifications by full-time students. It is in addition to attending the college in time and thus legally unable to continue working in a profession - except for " side jobs ".

Prerequisite for attending a college is usually of secondary school or an equivalent degree and have already been stored vocational training. Alternatively, but also running a family household or proven unemployment and several years of professional activity are accepted. The minimum age is 18 years. Depending on the state, there are different rules.

The so-called introductory period ( 11th grade ) is used in order to obtain the basic knowledge for the two-year qualification. In some colleges there before the actual college visit preparation courses to refresh untapped knowledge in key subjects. In some states, it is also imperative to pass an entrance test.

The selection of subjects and the final examinations at a college based on those of the general high school, where in the choice of subjects, the limitations of the competent State for the Ministry of Culture must be observed. The opportunities in the chosen college can lead to further restrictions. Also for the final exams, there may be different regulations.

To finance parents independent federal financial aid is usually granted, which need not be repaid.


The College School was the end of the last century one of two versions of the vocational school (BBS ) in NRW. The College was the school reform project of the state government from the 70s, which sought to renew the vocational system. With great effort groups were set up at the state level over several decades in NRW who worked on this reform, which were unique in the German school system. A leading role was playing the National Institute in Soest, a facility of the Ministry of Culture NRW. One of the leading figures from science, Andreas Gruschka.

Even after this reform will have effects at the vocational college in North Rhine -Westphalia after today.


In the Austrian school system a college (the emphasis is on the first syllable: College ) is a school form of supplementation after graduation a general ( AHS ) to an additional on the conclusion of a vocational high school (BHS, such as commercial academy, HTL) comparable professional qualification to obtain. In addition, graduates of BHS or professionally trained can complete a vocational training relevant here. It usually takes two, in some industries, even three years, and ends with a diploma and a trade license.

Are offered on courses - usually in combination with an advanced training course for BHS-/Fachschulabsolventen or apprenticeship - by most BHS in their field, and the specific institutions of higher education for working professionals, as well as on WIFI and BFI, in their own classes, or part-time as a night school.

In particular, there are colleges in the following types of schools:

  • College of technically commercial high schools ( in the narrow sense, THS )
  • College of Clothing technically commercial high school
  • College of Tourism, to technically commercial secondary schools
  • College of Arts and Crafts technically commercial secondary schools
  • College at commercial colleges (KHS )
  • College of business occupations, higher schools ( WHS )
  • Groups at higher schools for kindergarten teachers ( BAKIP )
  • Groups at higher schools for social ( BASOP )

See also:

  • Berufsreifeprüfung ( Austria ) - Another chance education to study access
  • School system in Austria - an overview
  • List of types of schools in Austria

Other meanings

In college we also understand a lecture (Latin collegium ) in the university. Students Grooming (ed) register their records in college notebooks.

Schools in church- often referred to as the College, especially if they lead a boarding school. This includes the educational establishments of the Jesuits. In Germany, there are three education institutions that are led by the Jesuit order and in which Jesuit education taught ( College of St. Blaise, Aloisiuskolleg Bad Godesberg, Canisius -Kolleg Berlin); other colleges in Catholic-run, for example, the College of St. Thomas the Dominicans in Vechta, the College of St. Sebastian in webs or the College of the Christian Brothers in Illertissen.

As Sprachenkolleg church institutions are referred to, which deal with the ancient languages ​​.

A college is also known as a boarding school.