German Universities Record Drop in Number of Students in 2022/23 for First Time in 15 Years


German universities have recorded a drop in the number of students during the winter semester of the 2022/23 academic year, according to initial preliminary results from the German Federal Statistical Office (Destatis).

Data show that 1.0 percent fewer students enrolled at universities in the country in 2022/2023 compared to the previous year, with the number also dropping for the first time since the 2007/2008 academic year, reports.

Destatis indicates that there are 30,400 fewer students in the current winter semester of 2022/23 when a total of 2,915,700 students enrolled in higher education in the country compared to the 2021/2022 winter semester when the number of enrolled students was 2,946,100.

Commenting on the reduced number of students in Germany, Matthias Anbuhl, General Secretary of the Deutsches Studentenwerk (DSW), said that students have been suffering the most challenging social situation in decades, and they are uncertain about payments for gas, electricity, and other basic needs.

“Our society cannot afford to drop out of studies due to lack of money. In addition to modern courses and excellent teaching, a package of financial aid is therefore necessary, with BAföG that secures a living, which also fits the changed study realities, as well as a modern social infrastructure and good psychosocial support,” Anbuhl added.

A total of 1,722,000 students enrolled at universities and equivalent universities in the 2022/2023 winter semester, a 1.8 percent decrease compared to the 2021/2022 winter semester.

Moreover, other students have enrolled in the following institutions:

  • 1,096,400 students at universities of applied sciences, a slight increase of 0.2 percent from 2021/2022 winter semester.
  • 59,700 students at administrative colleges, a 1.1 percent decrease.
  • 37,600 at art colleges, a 1.4 percent increase.

Despite the drop in the number of students, German universities have recorded a slight increase of 0.4 percent in the number of first-year students compared to a year earlier.

The first preliminary data show that 474,100 students enrolled for the first time at German universities between the summer semester 2022 and winter semester 2022/23.

“Since then, the number of first-semester students has declined, mainly because the number of young people in the age groups relevant to university entrants has fallen. The corona pandemic had intensified this development,” Destatis states in its press release, announcing the drop in student numbers.

In 2017, German universities admitted a total of 513,200 students who went to Germany to pursue higher education for the first time. Still, the number began to decline since then, mainly because there was also a decrease in the number of youngsters in age groups related to university entrants but also because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

>> Germany Sees Record Increase in Number of International Students

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