German secondary education includes five types of school. The Gymnasium is designed to prepare pupils for higher education and finishes with the final indicators of readiness of children to training at school Abitur, after grade 12 or 13.
Other than this, there is the Gesamtschule, which combines the Hauptschule, Realschule and Gymnasium. There are also Förder- or Sonderschulen. One in 21 pupils attends a Förderschule. Many of Germany’s hundred or so institutions of higher learning charge little or no tuition by international comparison. Students usually must prove through examinations that they are qualified. A special system of apprenticeship called Duale Ausbildung allows pupils on vocational courses to do in-service training in a company as well as at a state school. Historically, Lutheranism had a strong influence on German culture, including its education.