Germany Becomes Third Most Popular Study Destination for Int’l Students, Overtakes Australia

Germany Europe International Studies Higher Education News by Erudera News Oct 03, 2023


Nearly 370,000 international students were enrolled at German higher education institutions in the 2022/2023 winter semester, up five percent compared to the previous year, data released by the German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD) have revealed.

According to DAAD, German universities and colleges hosted 367,578 international students in the respective semester, a number that has never been higher. This record has put Germany third in the list of most popular study destinations among non-English-speaking countries, overtaking Australia, reports.

“That is very good news for Germany as a country of academia and science, especially in view of the skilled workers shortage,” German Education Minister Bettina Stark-Watzinger said, commenting on the newly released data.

Regarding the number of first-semester students, Germany hosted 80,000 in the last winter semester, an increase compared to the period before the COVID-19 pandemic.

India leads the pack with most students in Germany, followed by China, which for the first time ranks second. There were around 42,600 first-semester students from India, while the number of Ukrainian students has also significantly increased by 43 percent, totaling 9,100.

According to DAAD President Joybrato Mukherjee, the popularity of German universities for international students and doctoral candidates serves to address the dramatic shortage of skilled professionals among graduates.

About 45 percent of international students in Germany remain in Germany ten years after enrolling at the university. That is the highest proportion, along with Canada ((44 percent), among 16 OECD countries.

Furthermore, data indicate some 70,000 international scientific employees work at universities and research institutions in Germany.

Monika Jungbauer-Gans from the German Centre for Higher Education Research and Science Studies (DZHW) said that it is not by chance that a third of the scientific staff at research institutions in Germany are from abroad.

“It is no coincidence that 29 percent, i.e. nearly a third, of the scientific personnel at the institutes run by the leading research associations such as the Max Planck Society and the Leibniz Association now come from abroad. The corresponding figure at universities is 14 percent,” Jungbauer said.

In the 2021/22 academic year, Germany welcomed a total of 440,564 international students, of which 349,438 were international students, and the remaining 91,126 were resident international students.

The number has continued to increase over the years, marking a 46.1 percent rise from 2013/2014 to 2021/2022. Throughout the years, international student enrollment in Germany stood at:

  • 2020/2021 – 416,437 students
  • 2019/2020 – 411,601 students
  • 2018/2019 – 394,665 students
  • 2017/2018 – 374,583 students
  • 2016/2017 – 358,895 students
  • 2015/2016 – 340,305 students
  • 2014/2015 – 321,569 students
  • 2014/2015 – 301,350 students

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