Germany Saw Slight Increase in Number of International Students During 2020/21


Germany has seen a slight increase in the number of international students during the 2020/21 academic year, the Wissenschaft Weltoffen 2021 report by the German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD) and the German Centre for Higher Education Research and Science Studies (DZHW), has found.

According to DAAD, the total number of enrollments in 2020/21 was 325,000, marking a 1.5 percent increase annually and a total increase of nearly 7.5 percent compared to enrollments in 2018/19 before the pandemic outbreak.

On the other hand, the number of student commencements dropped by 20 percent year-over-year, reports.

As ICEF Monitor reports, DAAD President Joybrato Mukherjee said that the actual figures show that Germany remains a preferred study destination for international students, even amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

“In addition to our member institutions’ great commitment, this was due to the fact that higher education institutions have made significant progress with regard to digitisation in the past year. This puts them in an excellent position to compete for the most talented minds around the world, once the coronavirus pandemic is over,” Mukherjee said.

Furthermore, data have revealed that over seven in ten international students are enrolled at German universities, while 9 percent pursue studies at a university of applied sciences.

According to the report, international students in Germany mostly come from Asia, followed by North Africa and the Middle East.

China and India also remain important sources of international students in Germany. In 2020, China sent a total of 41,000 students to Germany, while 25,000 students pursuing studies in the country came from India.

According to DAAD, other leading countries sending considerable numbers of students in Germany are:

  • Syria (15,000)
  • Austria (12,000)
  • Russia (10,500)

The increase in the number of international students in Germany has been noted since 2010. Since then, the number of international students in Germany has increased by more than 80 percent.

The same report has revealed that 15,000 fewer freshmen students enrolled at universities in Germany during the 2021/22 academic year. The reason behind the drop is disruptions caused by the COVID-19 pandemic year. In 2020/21, A total of 64,000 first-year international students enrolled at German universities.

Due to COVID-19, Germany obliges travelers, including international students, to complete a digital entry registration, while some people depending on the country from where they are traveling, are required to show COVID-19 test results, proof of immunity as well as to comply with quarantine requirements.

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