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Germany sees record int’l numbers

Around 370,000 international students enrolled at German universities in the first 2022/23 semester, marking a new record for the country. 
October 13 2023
2 Min Read

Around 370,000 international students were enrolled at German universities in the first semester of the 22/23 academic year, marking a new record for the country. 

This was a 5% rise on the previous year, which saw 350,000 non-domestic students at the country’s universities.

According to new figures released by Germany’s academic exchange service DAAD, Indian students overtook the Chinese to become the largest nationality group for the first time, with approximately 46,000 Indians at German institutions. 

“German universities and research institutions continue to enjoy great international popularity,” said DAAD president Joybrato Mukherjee, attributing the demand to “the high quality of academic education, the freedom from fees and the good career opportunities for university graduates on the German labour market”.  

The majority of Germany’s public universities are free for international students, although the Technische Universität München is the first institution set to introduce fees for non-EU students under new rules in the state of Bavaria. 

The German government has taken steps in recent years to recruit more skilled workers from abroad, as well as trying to encourage more international students to relocate to the country in a bid to tackle its skilled labour shortage

“Germany continues to be extremely attractive for international students and researchers,” said federal education minister Bettina Stark-Watzinger, describing the latest figures as “very good news” for the country. 

The number of Ukrainian students in Germany also rose significantly during the winter semester to 9,100 students, a 43% jump on 21/22. 

International students at Germany’s Applied Sciences universities have more than doubled in the past ten years to almost 107,000 students (+140%). At standard universities the increase was 64% over the same period.

DAAD also reported around 70,000 international scientists working at institutions across the country, making it the joint second most popular destination for international researchers, after the USA and joint with the UK. 

“Germany continues to be extremely attractive for international students and researchers”

“The international mobility of scientists is of utmost importance, especially for successful research activities,” said Monika Jungbauer-Gans, scientific director of the German Centre for Higher Education Research and Science Studies (DZHW).

“It is no coincidence that at the institutes of the major research societies, such as the Max Planck Society or the Leibniz Association, almost a third of the scientific staff (29%) come from abroad.”

Research from the OECD found that Germany and Canada lead the way globally when it comes to retention of international students, with more than 60% of students who obtained a visa in 2015 still present in Germany in 2020.

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