Generally speaking a valid residence status is not required to commence higher studies in Germany. Therefore, in theory it is possible to begin one's studies whilst going through the asylum procedure. However, depending on one's legal status, certain benefits, such as language courses, may be limited.
Furthermore, starting with the winter semester 2017/2018, international students will be charged tuition fees in the state of Baden-Wurttemberg. Refugees with a humanitarian residence permit (approval of the refugee status, subsidiary protection) as well as asylum seekers currently going through the asylum procedure and who are of an origin with an increased protection quota (Syria, Iraq, Iran, Somalia, Eritrea), will be exempted from paying these fees. Asylum seekers from other countries, as well as international students who have come to Germany with a student visa (according to § 16 Aufenthaltsgesetz), will be required to pay 1500€ in tuition fees per semester, if they commence their studies in the winter semester 2017/2018 and onwards. If their studies have started prior to the winter semester 2017/2018, no fees will be charged. You may find further information here.
Proficiency of the German language is one of the fundamental requirements to take up studies in Germany.
The majority of undergraduate programs offered in Germany will be taught in German and the required level of proficiency is usually set at C1 (under the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages). Proof of proficiency will usually be provided through either the DSH or the Test DaF exam.
Many graduate programs will also be offered in English, however, a proof of proficiency of the taught language will still be required. Certain undergraduate programs are also taught in English. You can find more information on those programs on the relevant institutions' websites.
The website Hochschulkompass provides an overview of international courses.
Admission to a German institution of higher education will only be granted once the student provides a proof of university entrance qualifications, which also have to be recognized in Germany (HZB). Whether or not the qualifications are recognized will be determined through the application process.
The Studienkolleg Konstanz will verify foreign university entrance qualifications for applications for the colleges of applied sciences in Baden-Wurttemberg. The verification for the Duale Hochschule Baden-Wurttemberg will be administered through their Zentrale Anerkennungsstelle in Stuttgart.
One can find out who's responsible for verifying foreign university entrance qualifications in the Freiburg area by consulting the list of appointees to refugees at each institution.
It is demanded to attach the original or an authenticated copy of one's university entrance qualifications to the application. Furthermore, the qualifications need to be translated by a sworn translator.
The different programs may also require additional paperwork. All requirements can be found on the relevant institution's website.
Applications for graduate studies always require a proof of completed undergraduate studies. Admission will then be granted through the relevant faculty.
One can find additional information on the different application processes and the deadlines on the institutions' websites.
The deadlines for admission-limited bachelor studies are usually until January 15th for the summer semester and July 15th for the winter semester. The deadlines for Staatsexamen or Master studies differ, one can find them on the websites of the institutions.
Attention - the application processes and deadlines can vary significantly between the different institutions!