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Technische Hochschule (known by its initials TH) is what an Institute of Technology (i.e. a university focusing on engineering sciences) used to be called in German-speaking countries, as well as in the Netherlands, before most of them changed their name to Technische Universität (German) or Technische Universiteit (Dutch) (known by its initials TU) in the 1970s (in Germany) and in the 1980s (in the Netherlands).
In the Middle Ages, an educational institution was called a university only if a certain classical canon of subjects was taught (including philosophy, medicine, law and theology). Though in modern times other subjects including engineering sciences became more important, institutions of tertiary education devoted to these were denied the prestigious denomination "university", and had to use the general word Hochschule (higher school, i.e. school for tertiary education) instead.
It was a major breakthrough, then, when in the first half of the 20th century, some Technische Hochschulen in Germany and Technische Hoghescholen (THs) in the Netherlands were given the right to award the doctor degree, and again later when they were allowed to call themselves universities in accordance with the usual distinction that defines a university as an institution of tertiary education that can grant doctorates.
Some technical schools, however, preferred to maintain their traditional and established names, most notably the RWTH Aachen and the two in Switzerland (ETH Zurich and EPF Lausanne). Universities that changed their names from TH to TU include TU Delft and TU Eindhoven in the Netherlands.
The concept of a TH exists also in Finland as teknillinen korkeakoulu, which is equivalent to a TH. Examples include Teknillinen korkeakoulu in Espoo, Tampereen teknillinen korkeakoulu and Lappeenrannan teknillinen korkeakoulu. Similarly as in German speaking countries, most them later changed their name to teknillinen yliopisto, which is equivalent to a TU. However, Teknillinen korkeakoulu retained its old name until it merged with two other universities to form the current Aalto University.