A recent study has named Germany as the most popular non-English speaking destination country in the world for foreign students, overtaking France, Deutsche Welle reports.
The figures were published in a study compiled for the German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD) and the German Centre for Higher Education Research and Studies (DZHW).
In 2016, almost 252,000 from abroad studied in Germany, This was an increase of 16,000 compared to the previous year, and 6,000 more than neighbouring France.
The trend of increase appears to be continuing with 282,000 international students registering for the 2017/2018 winter semester.
DZHW academic director Monkia Jungbauer-Gans stated: “The number of foreign academics at German universities has almost double in the last 10 years.” This exchange goes both ways, with about a third of German students choosing to spend some of their studies overseas.
Of students surveyed, 83% said they chose to study in Germany because it offered professional opportunities, while 74% said they had come for an internationally recognised qualification.
More than 80% added that Germany as a non-English speaking study destination for foreign students had been recommended to them by friends and acquaintances.
Fee-free education in Germany a likely draw
One of the biggest draws, perhaps, for international students is the fact that most German states don’t have tuition fees.
Julia Hillmann of the DAAD said: “Of course it’s undeniable that that’s an important point in Germany. Of course in comparison to a lot of countries that are well-loved target countries but have very high fees, a decisive factor for many.”
The report has been welcomed by German Education Minister Anja Karliczek: “Our university and research location is becoming more and more attractive internationally. We should be proud of that and it should spur us on to be even better.”
Hillmann did admit that there was room for improvement, and that universities were working to address the concerns of international students.
One issue that has been highlighted is the drop out rate. About 45% of foreign students drop out in Germany, a much higher rate than the 28% of German students.
Hillmann states: “One would assume that language problems and other elements of the educational culture in Germany play a role, but also financial problems.”
Germany seems particularly attractive to Chinese students. The study shows that 37,000 Chinese students chose Germany in 2018, the biggest nationality represented. This was followed by India (17,300), Austria (11,100), Russia (10,800) and Italy (8,900).
The report also showed that 24,000 international students were of the eight nationalities filing the most asylum applications in Germany: Syria, Afghanistan, Iran, Iraq, Nigeria, Eritrea, Pakistan and Somalia.
The DZHW study said: “Syrian refugees currently form the sixth-highest foreign country of origin at German universities.”
Photo: Ansgar Scheffold
Kate Frazer is a reporter for Global Education Times with a focus on UK/Ireland and North American education news. When she is not writing for GET News, Kate spends her time as an English and Maths tutor, and is currently pursuing her PGCE in Secondary Mathematics.
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