Thuringia – land of science
The French “jardin d'enfants”, the Russian “djetski sad” and the English “kindergarten” – all have their roots in Thuringia, and not in name only. It was here that Friedrich Fröbel established the first kindergarten, in 1840. The idea of beginning children’s education even before the start of formal schooling made its way from Thuringia around the world. The Free State still enjoys today one of the best kindergarten systems anywhere. The little ones are guaranteed the very finest in day-care and early childhood education. In fact, in Thuringia every child has a legal right to day-care from his or her first birthday onward.
The Thuringian school system offers a variety of options and focuses on the fostering of each pupil as an individual. Schooling begins with four years of elementary education, usually at an all-day school. Thereafter, children attend a six-year standard school or the eight-year gymnasium, which prepares them for university. At the gymnasium – some of which have special focuses in music, sport or natural sciences – pupils complete their abitur, or university-entrance diploma. There is also the option of spending all ten or twelve school years in a comprehensive school, where all diplomas are possible. Progressive educational approaches are offered at many schools.
- The Campus Beutenberg in Jena is a cutting-edge research centre.
More and more young people are coming to Thuringia to study. They can choose from nine universities, which have proven to be magnets attracting newcomers to the state. More than 50,000 students prepare for their future careers here. All of Thuringia’s universities offer bachelor and master degrees in accordance with the Bologna reform, comparable to those awarded all over Europe.
Friedrich Schiller University in Jena was founded in 1558 and is one of the oldest universities in Germany. Mathematician Gottlob Frege, poet and historian of philosophy Friedrich Schiller, and philosopher Georg Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel all taught here. Ilmenau University of Technology was founded in 1894 as the “Thüringisches Technikum” and enjoys an outstanding reputation today for engineering studies. The Bauhaus University in Weimar devotes itself to artistic and technical disciplines. Weimar is where the idea of the Bauhaus got its start in 1919. The youngest Thuringian institution of higher education is the University of Erfurt, founded in 1994 with focuses in education and religion. In addition, four universities of applied sciences in Jena, Nordhausen, Schmalkalden and Erfurt offer practically oriented courses of study. At the renowned Liszt School of Music in Weimar, musicians, music teachers and music scholars receive an excellent education in music theory and performance.