Why study in the Ruhr Area?
As a student in the Ruhr Area you will experience excellent teaching facilities, future-oriented career opportunities, a modern and diverse society as well as countless leisure activities. What more can you wish for?
Being the largest metropolitan area in Germany and the fourth largest in Europe, the Ruhr Area is home to more than five million people. It consists of 53 cities with a diverse and multicultural population, well-known for their down-to-earth mentality.
This is a region of contrasts where large cities meet nature, where culture and old industries are mentioned in one sentence, where science and economy are closely interconnected. At the same time, it is also a region of alliances in various fields like university alliances such as the Higher Education Alliance Ruhr, a consortium of the three universities of applied science in Bochum, Dortmund and the Westfälische Hochschule or cultural initiatives resulting in the European Capital of Culture RUHR 2010, to name just two.
A connection between science and practice
The Ruhr Area has the highest density of tertiary education establishments in Germany with 22 universities and colleges, providing a wide range of study opportunities in future-relevant fields. The universities of applied sciences, such as Hochschule Bochum, Fachhochschule Dortmund and Westfälische Hochschule are in particular practice-relevant and -oriented, offering their students an excellent connection between science and practice. Teaching and applied research are enriched by cooperations with companies in the region, including excursions as well as internships. The latter often pave the way to practice-relevant theses and gradual career entries.
Your career starts here
The Ruhr Area is home to the headquarters of some of Germany’s biggest companies, including world-famous companies such as RWE, Thyssen-Krupp, Evonik Industries, E.ON Ruhrgas, Aldi and Hochtief. But also leading small and medium-sized enterprises as well as an innovative and flourishing startup scene are major pillars of the local economy. Key industries of tomorrow such as green tech, new forms of mobility, hydrogen development and research, digitalization, cybersecurity, health industry and sustainable tourism make the region a technology and science hotspot. Dortmund was named the European Capital of Innovation in 2021 – the first German city to receive this award – recognizing its efforts to encourage an environment that fosters and inspires creativity and innovation. Consequently, qualified and skilled employees are in high demand and an important resource in the region to maintain its competitive edge in the future.
Affordable living costs
In comparison to other German cities such as Munich, Hamburg or Düsseldorf, the cost of living is much more affordable in the Ruhr Area. In fact, it offers some of the most affordable housing Germany-wide, although space is generally becoming increasingly rare and costly. Moreover, a well-developed public transportation network enables the students to commute easily and budget-friendly as well as sustainably between the different cities and universities of the Ruhr Area.
Enthusiasm for football
If your heart beats for football, the Ruhr Area is your place to be. BVB Dortmund, Schalke 04, VFL Bochum, MSV Duisburg, Rot-Weiß Essen – they all call the Ruhr Area their home turf. The legendary rivalry between the teams and their fans culminate in the Revierderbies, easily the most heated matches in German football. Here, football is not only a game, it’s a way of life, part of identity and a deeply-rooted tradition.
A center of arts and culture
Formerly known as Germany’s major coal-mining region, the Ruhr Area has developed into one of Europe’s densest cultural landscapes, being awarded the European Capital of Culture RUHR 2010. The remarkable transition from industry to culture has resulted in 1,000 industrial monuments, such as the UNESCO World Heritage site Zollverein Coal Mine in Essen, 200 museums, 250 festivals, 120 theatres and three musical theatres. Blast furnaces, Gasometers across the region are venues hosting internationally acclaimed events, such as the festival of the arts Ruhrtriennale and other exciting artistic productions. There are evenings when it is a tough choice to decide whether to go to Schauspielhaus in Bochum, a leading place for contemporary theatre in Germany, to the opera house in Dortmund or to the Musiktheater in Gelsenkirchen. And that is just a regular evening, without major events taking place such as the Ruhrfestspiele, one of Europe‘s biggest and most renowned theatre festivals or the Ruhr Piano Festival…
Between former coal mines and heavy industry, the Ruhr Area offers wonderful nature with lakes, such as Baldeneysee, Kemnader See or Phoenixsee, forests and parks, such as Nordsternpark Gelsenkirchen, Westfalenpark Dortmund, Grugapark Essen, Landschaftspark Duisburg, Westpark Bochum. It is fascinating to see how nature reclaims old industrial areas. As ambitious as it sounds, the Ruhr Area aims to become the greenest industrial region in the world. In fact, it is already diligently working toward that goal. In 2017, for example, Essen was named the European Green Capital, recognizing the local efforts and commitment to environmental change and improving the urban environment.
Studying in the Ruhr Area is a choice you will hardly regret.