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

A Technische Hochschule (German: [ˈtɛçnɪʃə ˈhoːxˌʃuːlə], plural: Technische Hochschulen, abbreviated TH) is a type of university focusing on engineering sciences in Germany. Previously, it also existed in Austria, Switzerland, the Netherlands (Technische Hogeschool), and Finland (teknillinen korkeakoulu). In the 1970s (in Germany) and the 1980s (in the Netherlands), the Technische Hochschule emerged into the Technische Universität (German) or Technische Universiteit (Dutch). Since 2009, several German universities of applied sciences were renamed to Technische Hochschulen.


In German-language countries, the term Hochschule is more general than Universität (plural: Universitäten) and also encompasses universities which do not have the right to confer doctorates and habilitations, in contrast to Universitäten. Today, Universitäten as well as other Hochschulen call themselves Technische Hochschule for historical reasons. However, a Technische Hochschule with the status of a Universität is regarded as a Technische Universität despite the name.


Since the Middle Ages, higher education institutions in Europe were called a university only if a certain classical canon of subjects encompassing philosophy, medicine, law and theology was taught. When engineering sciences became more important in academica due to the Industrial Revolution, institutions of tertiary education devoted to these were denied the prestigious denomination "university", and had to use the more general term Hochschule instead.

It was a major breakthrough, then, when in the first half of the 20th century, some Technische Hochschulen in Germany and Technische Hogescholen in the Netherlands were given the right to award the doctoral degrees, and again later when they were allowed to call themselves universities. This change of status was accompanied by a broader spectrum of academic disciplines and more fundamental research.

While most former Technische Hochschulen opted to change their name to Technische Universität to reflect their new status, some of them preferred to maintain their traditional and established names, most notably the RWTH Aachen in Germany as well as ETH Zurich and EPF Lausanne in Switzerland.

Starting in 2009, several German universities of applied sciences (Fachhochschulen) with a technical focus have changed their names to Technische Hochschule.

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
Universität Stuttgart 1829 Stuttgart Baden-Württemberg 4,946 27,686

List of Technische Hochschulen (institutions with the status of Technische Universität not included) by location:

Institution Established City State Staff Students
Ostbayerische Technische Hochschule Amberg-Weiden 1994 Amberg, Weiden Bavaria 325 3,500
Technische Hochschule Bingen 1971 Bingen am Rhein Rhineland-Palatinate 212 2,628
Technische Hochschule Georg Agricola 1816 Bochum North Rhine-Westphalia 252 2,279
Technische Hochschule Brandenburg 1992 Brandenburg an der Havel Brandenburg 240 2,616
Technische Hochschule Deggendorf 1994 Deggendorf Bavaria 552 5,700
Technische Hochschule Ingolstadt 1994 Ingolstadt Bavaria ~450 ~5,200
Technische Hochschule Köln 1971 Cologne North Rhine-Westphalia 1,620 24,818
Technische Hochschule Mittelhessen 1971 Giessen, Friedberg, Wetzlar Hesse ~1,000 16,044
Technische Hochschule Nürnberg 1971 Nuremberg Bavaria 1,855 12,234
Ostbayerische Technische Hochschule Regensburg 1971 Regensburg Bavaria 690 ~11,000
Technische Hochschule Wildau 1991 Wildau Brandenburg 335 4,152

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]