Germany Looks to Host More Indian Students to Fill Labor Shortage

Germany Europe Higher Education News International Studies Statistics by Erudera News Apr 24, 2024

Cologne, Germany

The critical shortage of skilled workers remains a challenge in Germany, with employers having a hard time to fill vacant positions.

To tackle this shortage, especially in the IT and engineering sector, Germany is looking to host students from India and engage them in the German labor market, reports.

According to figures by the Federal Statistical Office of Germany, a record 42,997 Indian students were studying in Germany in the winter semester of the 2022/23 academic year, placing India as the top source country of international students at German universities. That was a 26 percent increase from the previous year.

Commenting on the figure, Joybrato Mukherjee, President of the German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD), said the number of Indians studying in Germany has surpassed that of Chinese.

“It is important to make the German labour market attractive for Indian students after they get their educational degrees to address the increasing gap in skilled workers in the German labour market,” Mukherjee told reporters.

Data shows that 60 percent of Indian students in Germany enroll in engineering courses, 22 percent in law, management and social studies, and 14 percent in mathematics and natural sciences.

Meanwhile, there are 700,000 empty job positions in Germany, and the economic growth potential has decreased to about 0.7 percent from nearly 2 percent in the 1980s, according to a report by Deutsche Welle. German Economy Minister Robert Habeck said that the figure is projected to decrease to 0.5 percent if no solution is found.

The Association of German Chambers of Industry and Commerce (DIHK) also raised the alarm about the shortage of skilled workers, saying it threatens vital sectors in Germany.

There were 458,210 international students in Germany in the winter semester of 2022/23, of which 367,578 international students and 90,632 resident international students. Germany has witnessed a significant increase in international student numbers since 2014, when country’s government made tuition free. Since then, the number has increased from 301,350 to 458,210 in 2023.

Michael Flacke, a spokesperson for the German Academic Exchange Service, told DW that international students are often called the “ideal immigrants” because they have already familiarized themselves with living in Germany and even learned the language.

As part of measures included in the Skilled Immigration Act, which entered into force on March 1 this year, international students in Germany are allowed to work up to 20 hours per week during their studies. Before this change, the limit was 10 hours per week.

India and Germany have a long history of partnership in education, further strengthening it with over 450 cooperation agreements reached between Higher Education Institutions (HEIs) from both nations.

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