Technische Hochschule

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University of Karlsruhe, a German technical university, founded in the 19th century, since 2009 it has been named Karlsruhe Institute of Technology

Technische Hochschule (known by its initials TH) is what an Institute of Technology (that is, 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, that is, 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 doctoral degrees, 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.

In Austria[edit]

List of Austrian Technische Universitäten by location:

Institution Established City State Staff Students
Technische Universität Graz 1811 Graz Styria 2,256 12,692
Technische Universität Wien 1815 Vienna Vienna 4,078 26,218

In Germany[edit]

List of German Technische Universitäten by location:

Institution Established City State Staff Students
Rheinisch-Westfälische Technische Hochschule Aachen 1870 Aachen North Rhine-Westphalia 8,047 40,025
Technische Universität Berlin 1770 Berlin Berlin 8,302 31,427
Technische Universität Carolo-Wilhelmina zu Braunschweig 1745 Braunschweig Lower Saxony 5,550 15,500
Technische Universität Chemnitz 1836 Chemnitz Saxony 1,185 10,850
Technische Universität Clausthal 1775 Clausthal-Zellerfeld Lower Saxony 1,000 4,080
Brandenburgische Technische Universität Cottbus-Senftenberg 2013 Cottbus Brandenburg 1,218 10,310
Technische Universität Darmstadt 1877 Darmstadt Hessen 4,122 24,305
Technische Universität Dortmund 1968 Dortmund North Rhine-Westphalia 3,867 29,672
Technische Universität Dresden 1828 Dresden Saxony 7,094 36,534
Technische Universität Bergakademie Freiberg 1765 Freiberg Saxony 1,540 5,455
Technische Universität Hamburg-Harburg 1978 Hamburg Hamburg 1,150 6,678
HafenCity Universität Hamburg 2006 Hamburg Hamburg 504 2,304
Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz Universität Hannover 1831 Hannover Lower Saxony 4,290 22,236
Technische Universität Ilmenau 1894 Ilmenau Thuringia 2,021 6,909
Technische Universität Kaiserslautern 1970 Kaiserslautern Rhineland-Palatinate 1,124 14,184
Karlsruher Institut für Technologie 1825 Karlsruhe Baden-Württemberg 9,251 22,146
Technische Universität München 1868 Munich Bavaria 9,704 35,000
Technische Hochschule Nürnberg 1971 Nuremberg Bavaria 1,855 12,234

In Switzerland[edit]

List of Swiss Federal Institutes of Technology by location:

Institution Established City Staff Students
École Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne 1853 Lausanne 4,000 9,000
Eidgenössische Technische Hochschule Zürich 1855 Zürich 10,242 17,781

In Finland[edit]

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 to German speaking countries, most of 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.

See also[edit]