Germany Counted 6,000 More Graduates in 2021, Following Sharp Decline Due to Pandemic

Germany Europe Higher Education News Europe by Erudera News Sep 08, 2022

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The number of graduates of higher education institutions in Germany increased by nine percent in 2021, counting 6,000 additional graduates recorded in a year alone.

According to Destatis, the German website for statistics, the number of bachelor’s, master and doctorate students graduating recovered in 2021, following a decrease of seven percent recorded in 2020, mainly linked to the COVID-19 pandemic, reports.

“In 2020, many examinations were postponed to the next semester because of the pandemic, which resulted in catch-up growth in 2021,” Destatis says regarding the 2021 positive results.

More specifically, 518,000 people graduated from German universities and colleges in 2021, up by nine percent compared to the previous year when those numbers stood at 477,000. Moreover, the number of graduates recorded in 2021 was even higher than at the pre-pandemic levels, increasing by two percent from 512,000 to 518,000.

The German government’s introduction of free-of-charge education has been one of the most positive decisions for the country’s education sector, as the number of international students soared since this decision became effective in 2014.

More specifically, the number of international students has increased from 301,350 to 416,437 from 2014 to 2021, representing an increase of 38.1 percent, which accounts for 159,000 more students.

This has caused Germany to reach its goal of 350,000 international students, introduced in 2014 for only three years – in 2017, despite the deadline for reaching this milestone being set in 2020.

Statistics from also point out that the main sources for international students in Germany are India and Syria with 28,542 and 16,931 students, respectively, while the largest nationality group of international students in the country come from China, with a total of 40,122 students being enrolled in the German universities and colleges as of 2021.

Except for these countries of origin, Austria (13,612), Russia (10,573), Iran (10,561), and Turkey (10,018) are also some honorable mentions, while German students are mostly interested in other European countries to fulfill their academic pursuits.

The top countries where German students serve as international students include Austria, which has the highest number of German students (30,231), followed by the Netherlands (22,439), the United Kingdom (14,145), and Switzerland (11,536).

As per German students participating in Erasmus abroad, the top host country is Spain, with 6,583 students, followed by France, with 5,352, and the United Kingdom, with 3,706 students.

According to data from Statista, the majority of university students in Germany for the winter semester of 2021/2022 chose to study law, economics, and social sciences – a total of 1.1 million while the second-most picked subjects to study in Germany for this semester was engineering, with 776,246 students.

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