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IU International University of Applied Sciences reaches new milstone of 100,000 students

  • Germany's largest university gives more and more people access to education.
  • Flexibility and personalised IU learning tools convince students worldwide.
  • Thuringia, Germany’s Minister of Economics, Science and Digital Society, Wolfgang Tiefensee honours the social contribution of IU International University of Applied Sciences (IU).

Erfurt, Germany, 9 November 2022: For the first time, more than 100,000 students are studying at IU International University of Applied Sciences (IU). IU is further expanding its pioneering role as the largest university in Germany. Since the start of its teaching operations in 2000, IU has been giving more and more people access to education, and thanks to digitally supported learning formats it is setting new standards for personalised learning. A third of all students at private German universities decide to study at IU.

More educational equity and fewer barriers to entry

Today, people from over 170 nations study at the private, state-recognised university with 18 percent of all its students being international (non-nationals) – well above the national average. Thanks to flexible study models, German- and English-language programmes and digitally supported learning opportunities, students can study at IU from anywhere in the world around the clock. At the main campus in Erfurt and at more than 30 other locations in Germany, potential students can study dual studies and create the best conditions for their career start with the help of more than 15,000 IU practice partners. In almost every German city as well as worldwide, IU gives prospective students access to their ideal study model - whether dual, distance or hybrid. At 16 percent, the proportion of students without a (technical) high school diploma at IU is seven times higher than the average in Germany.

Thuringia, Germany’s Minister of Economics, Science and Digital Society, Wolfgang Tiefensee congratulates on this milestone: "IU, based in the Thuringian state capital of Erfurt, is an enrichment for the German university landscape. With its personalised and digitised courses, it helps to open up new professional and educational opportunities for people in a wide variety of life situations. The increasing number of students shows that these offers are obviously being accepted - also because they can be easily integrated into everyday life. IU is therefore an important component of our diverse and modern education system.”

IU continues to expand educational opportunities and tech expertise for international students

Prospective students can choose from more than 200 study programmes in both English and German at the bachelor's and master's levels and benefit from the constant further development of the offer. Overall, the most popular study subjects at IU include social work, business administration and psychology, while the most popular degree programmes amongst international students are MBA, social work and computer science. With around 20,000 active students in the social work department, IU is the largest academic trainer for social professions in Germany. In addition, digital know-how is increasingly in focus: subjects in the IT and technology areas such as artificial intelligence and data science are meeting with steadily growing interest among students.

Using interactive, digital learning tools such as the IU Learn App with learning videos and over 600 online scripts, students find the best individual way to learn and deepen the material. A dedicated team of tech specialists at IU is constantly working on new innovative solutions. "Digitally supported learning and teaching offers as well as digitised processes play a decisive role for the great flexibility in the design of a course of study with us at IU and for a positive learning experience overall," explains Prof. Dr. Holger Sommerfeldt, Rector of IU International University of Applied Sciences.

Best chances for the jobs of the future – for everyone

More than ever, tech expertise is a key competence for the transformation in the economy. Graduates of these subjects are in great demand and have very good chances on the job market. "This is an essential criterion for us when we introduce a new course," emphasizes Sommerfeldt. "We not only want to give as many people as possible access to higher education and enable them to participate more in the social debates of our time, but also train them for the jobs of the future at the same time."

The high proportion of students who come from non-academic families is particularly pleasing: at IU, it is 70 percent and thus well above the German average. At 64 percent, the proportion of women among IU students is also higher than in the national comparison and has grown steadily over the past six years. "Diversity and equal opportunities are two important pillars of the IU philosophy, which are reflected in the profile of our students," emphasizes Holger Sommerfeldt.

Professional and personal exchange remains important

Despite the great importance of digitisation and technology, personal contact with and among the students is always the top priority. Professors and academic staff are on hand to offer students professional advice and support. Study coaches and study guides support students both in distance learning and on-site with the challenges of everyday study and accompany them individually on their learning journey.


With more than 130,000 students, IU International University of Applied Sciences (IU) is the largest university in Germany. The private, state-approved educational institution with its main campus in Erfurt brings together more than 250 bachelor's and master's programmes under one roof, which are offered in German or English. Students can choose between dual studies, distance learning and myStudies, which combines online and face-to-face events, and design their studies independently with the help of a digitally supported learning environment. In addition, IU enables further training and promotes the idea of lifelong learning. The aim of the university is to give as many people as possible worldwide access to personalised education. IU started operations in 2000 and is now represented in more than 35 German cities. It cooperates with over 15,000 companies and actively supports them in the development of their employees. The partners include Motel One, VW Financial Services and Deutsche Bahn. Further information at: