Record-Breaking 370,000 International Students in Germany
|22 October, 2023
In the first semester of the 2022–2023 academic year, German universities saw a remarkable enrollment of approximately 370,000 international students, setting a new record for the country. This represents a 5% increase from the previous year, when there were 350,000 non-local students studying at German institutions.
According to recent data released by Germany's academic exchange service, DAAD, Indian students have surpassed the Chinese to become the largest nationality group for the first time, with around 46,000 Indian students now studying at German universities.
DAAD's president, Joybrato Mukherjee, attributes the continued international interest in German education to its high academic quality, the affordable tuition fees, and the promising career opportunities available to graduates in the German job market.
Most of Germany's public universities remain tuition-free for international students. However, Technische Universität München is set to introduce fees for non-EU students in compliance with new regulations in the state of Bavaria.
In recent years, the German government has taken initiatives to attract more skilled workers from abroad and to encourage international students to choose Germany as their study destination, addressing the country's skilled labour shortage.
Federal Education Minister Bettina Stark-Watzinger expressed her delight with the latest statistics, stating that Germany continues to be highly attractive for international students and researchers, deeming these figures "very good news" for the country.
The number of Ukrainian students in Germany also saw a significant increase during the winter semester, with 9,100 students, marking a 43% rise from the 2021–2022 academic year.
Furthermore, the number of international students at Germany's Applied Sciences universities has more than doubled over the past decade, reaching nearly 107,000 students, a remarkable 140% increase. Standard universities in Germany also experienced substantial growth, with a 64% rise in international student enrollment over the same period.
DAAD's report also highlighted the presence of approximately 70,000 international scientists working at various research institutions across the country, making Germany the second most popular destination for international researchers, sharing the position with the UK and following the USA.
Monika Jungbauer-Gans, the scientific director of the German Centre for Higher Education Research and Science Studies (DZHW), emphasised the vital importance of international mobility in science, especially for successful research endeavours. She noted that at renowned research organisations like the Max Planck Society and the Leibniz Association, nearly one-third of the scientific staff (29%) comes from abroad.
Research conducted by the OECD revealed that Germany and Canada lead globally in retaining international students, with over 60% of students who obtained visas in 2015 still residing in Germany as of 2020.