International Students in Germany in Dire Need of Accommodation as Crisis Deepens

Germany Europe Higher Education News International Studies by Erudera News Oct 24, 2023


A vast number of students in Germany, including international students, have been struggling to find accommodation for the new academic year due to a worsening housing situation in the country.

The housing crisis has greatly affected international students who move to Germany in large numbers, local media reports say.

Recent data by the German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD) have shown that Germany has become the third most popular study destination for international students, reports.

Data indicate that international enrollment in Germany reached a record high in the 2022/23 academic year. German higher education institutions welcomed 367,578 international students over the respective academic year, which is a slight increase of five percent from the previous year.

Most of these students are finding difficulty in securing a place to study while studying in Germany as there is a lack of apartments in the country.

“Some students are able to rent a place using a financial guarantee from their parents, but it’s especially difficult for international students because they often aren’t able to provide such a guarantee,” Thomas Schmidt from Social Affairs on the General Student Committee (AStA) - which represents the interest of students at German universities, told Deutsche Welle.

According to a study by Eduard Pestel Research Institute earlier this year, there was a shortage of over 700,000 apartments nationwide.

To assist the many students in dire need of housing, the Student Association in the central German city of Göttingen has rented a hotel at a reasonable cost for students, DW reports. These students will be accommodated in the hotel at a reduced price for the first weeks of the semester.

Numbeo’s data show that the monthly price to rent an apartment with a one-bedroom in the city center of Munich stands at €1,367.

The German government, led by Olaf Scholz, pledged to build 400,000 apartments each year after he took office at the end of 2021. The German Chancellor said that 100,000 of the new units would be subsidized through social funding.

“We want to make it clear that we are committed to achieving our stated goals. Our goal is to increase the number of domestic housing units to this level,” Scholz said at the first Alliance Day last year.

The government has not met the target yet, and experts believe it will continue to be missed in the future. According to the Macroeconomic and Business Cycle Research Institute, the government will fail to meet the target by an even larger margin next year.

As the housing crisis deepens, rent increases, making things harder for students. As part of a youth scheme, Germany’s coalition government promised a €500 million grant this year to offer more housing for students and other categories.

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