Germany Overtakes France in Number of International Students

Germany has managed to leave behind France in the global ranking regarding the number of international students, with a total of 320,000 overseas students pursuing studies in the country last year, according to Wissenschaft Weltoffen 2020 data, delivered by DAAD and the German Centre for Higher Education Research and Science Studies.

Data have also unveiled that the number of students from the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) countries has increased by 68 per cent in three years before 2019, Erudera College News reports.

Students from the Asia Pacific represented 30 per cent of the international cohort, those from Western Europe made up 18.4 per cent, while North Africa and the Middle East 17.7 per cent.

At the same time, the majority of students came from China and India, with 13 per cent and 7 per cent, each.

Based on data, half of the international students’ study in three federal states Nordrhein-Westfalen, Bayern and Baden-Württemberg.

Moreover, a high share has also been noted in:

  • Berlin -17 per cent
  • Sachsen -15 per cent
  • Thüringen -14 per cent
  • Brandenburg -14 per cent

The number of Syrian students in Germany has also risen by 275 per cent in the past three years. In 2019, Syrians studying in Germany accounted for 4 per cent; the majority of them being refugees.

In the years between 2016 and 2019, nearly 30,000 refugees have attended professional language courses in order to prepare for future studies.

According to DAAD’s data, 22,000 refugees in total are believed to have pursued higher education in Germany during 2019.

Higher Number of Students Interested in Master Degree

As per study levels, over five years, the interest in Master courses has increased by 72 per cent, overtaking the 50 per cent of interest in bachelor degree or 12 per cent in PhD.

According to DAAD, Germany remains a desirable destination for students, as interest in continuing studies in the country is still high.

DAAD president Joybrato Mukherjee said that data secured from the survey show that Germany has been able to improve its reputation among international students as it has managed to control the pandemic well.

“This is a good starting point from which we can in future convince even more talented young people of the benefits of our education system and thus connect them to our country. All those involved should collectively grasp this opportunity,” he said.

Whereas, the UCL Institute of Education research fellow Sazana Jayadeva said there was the feeling among Indian students that Germany is managing the Corona crisis well and international students are supported, claiming that the only concern of them were job opportunities and online learning.

Yet, nearly 80,000 students have left Germany as a consequence of COVID-19, and many of them have claimed they are having difficulties to return back to the country.

According to DAAD spokesperson Michael Andreas Flacke, international students are allowed to enter Germany even if their study courses have switched online.

“There are some challenges, we have heard, in some countries obtaining a visa, but most consulates seem to be open and working. Looking at German universities talking about their current incoming numbers of international students, we see a divided picture,” he told the PIE News.

As per German students pursuing studies in other countries, one in five students has chosen Austria as their study destination, 16 per cent went to the Netherlands, 11 per cent to the UK and 10 per cent to Switzerland.

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