UK Universities Experience Decline in German Student Enrollment For the First Time Since 2013

Germany United Kingdom Europe International Studies Higher Education News Statistics by Erudera News Jan 25, 2024


Universities in the United Kingdom have recorded a 12 percent decline in German student enrollment in 2021 compared to the previous year, the first drop since 2013, according to the Federal Statistical Office (Destatis).

Destatis has revealed there were 11,100 German students in the UK that year, 1,600 less compared to 2020, reports.

“At universities in the United Kingdom, the number of German students fell by 12 percent or 1,600 to 11,100 compared to the previous year, meaning that the United Kingdom was not among the three most popular countries to study in for the first time since 2013,” Destatis said in a press release on January 17, 2024.

The three most popular study destinations for German students in 2021 were Austria, the Netherlands, and Switzerland, which hosted 36,100, over 24,000, and 12,400 students, respectively.

Overall, the number of German students studying abroad totaled 137,700 in 2021. That represents a slight increase of 3 percent compared to the previous year. In other words, an additional 4,200 German students moved abroad to pursue higher education during that period.

Data indicate that the growth in German students in the United States, Austria, and Portugal has mainly driven the increase.

Croatia witnessed the largest increase in German students, up 74 percent, followed by the United States with a 59 percent rise and Portugal with 56 percent.

In specific figures, there were 3,200 German students in the United States, 2,300 in Austria, and 1,000 in Portugal in 2021.

“After the decline in the first Corona year of 2020 (133,400 students), the number of students studying abroad almost reached the pre-Corona level of 2019 (137,900 students). In eleven countries worldwide, including the People’s Republic of China, the number of German students has fallen continuously since 2019, while in half of all countries the 2019 numbers were either reached or exceeded,” Destatis explains.

German students who chose other countries to study were mainly interested in programs like “Economics, Administration and Law” (27,700 students) and “Social Sciences, Journalism and Information Technology” (24,700 students).

67 percent of German students enrolled at Dutch universities chose these courses.

Due to the limited number of study places in the field of human medicine in Germany, German students saw universities in Europe as a decent option. The share of German students studying human medicine in Lithuania was 73 percent, in Hungary 64 percent, in Poland 59 percent, and in Czechia 44 percent.

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