25,000 Indian student visa applications are received in Germany.
|Created At:||11 May, 2023|
|Created By:||Passant Mohamed|
There are over 25,000 student visa requests at the German consulate in India for the upcoming two semesters.
The number of Indian students in Germany has "exploded" in recent years, according to Ambassador Philipp Ackerman, who spoke on a panel at the Acumen Global Gateway Summit on April 20.
“[Germany is] the new kid on the block because this number has exploded over the last couple of years and we have now 35,000 Indian students in Germany,” he said.
The 2023 Wissenschaft weltoffen, published in March, stated that the European country was hosting 33,753 Indian students, accounting for 9.7% of the overall international cohort of 349,438 in 2021/22.
With 40,055 students enrolled across Germany's higher education ecosystem, China remains the largest source country for international students.
The ambassador added, “What is more is that the German embassy has 25,000 new applications [from Indians] for the next two semesters on its table.”
“There is a huge interest in the Indian youth to come to Germany,” he said, noting that free education and English-medium programmes – that offer both academic and practical options – add to the attraction.
“We don’t do recruitment. There is no publicity done by German institutions, mostly due to the fact that German universities are state run and owned. There is no business interests there.”
However, he continued, the embassy is overwhelmed with applications, and fraud continues to slow down processing.
“We are overwhelmed by the number of applications. To process 25,000 applications in a year is tough for us. So we feel also a certain frustration that our proceedings – because we have to get to an academic assessment – and unfortunately, we have about 5 to 10% fraudulent applications and we have to get them out of the basket.
“It’s not much, but we have to do that and therefore the proceedings are taking some time.”
It's not the first time that visa applications have caused problems. In 2020, stakeholders claimed that visa wait periods were "discouraging and demotivating," with students in India, Morocco, and Cameroon having to wait up to a year.
It is unclear whether the large amount of applications in India will be equally challenging this year. Ambassador Ackerman further stated that hosting overseas students from India is a "win-win situation" for both Indian students and German society as a whole.
He added, “German universities are super happy with Indian students. Their experience with Indian students is extremely positive. Therefore, Indian applications are considered to be very valuable and accepted very easily… You have 12 months to look for a job [after graduation], and I will tell you that in six weeks every Indian student gets a job in Germany.”.
“What we want is Indian students coming to Germany and then also staying. We feel that when we offer to give them education, it plays out for us when they go into the workforce…
“Basically this is a win-win situation for both sides – for us and Indian students who stay on in Germany, working in Germany is a big relief in a context where we have a shortage of people.”