The survey gathered results from over 11,000 international students, and unlike results published in DAAD’s annual report published earlier this year, results were also taken from non DAAD grant-funded students, casting a more reflective representation of the sector.
Interestingly over 30% of international graduates plan to stay permanently in Germany, while about 40% plan to stay for at least ten years and just 7% are planning a short-term stay.
All foreign students have a right to remain in Germany for up to 18 months
DAAD told The PIE News: “The legal framework for international students has been continually liberalised in recent years, thus considerably increasing the international attractiveness of Germany as a place to study.”
In fact 64% of students questioned have paid, full-time employment, 7% are working part-time, 7% are self-employed or freelance and only 6.8% are looking for a job.
After successful completion of the studies at a German higher education institution, all foreign students have a right to remain in Germany for up to 18 months and may work unrestrictedly during this job-seeking period.
As well as job prospects, the main motivating factors for studying in Germany are quality of education (89%), the acceptance of German degrees internationally (72%) and 68% of students are motivated by low tuition fees.
“The fact that so many of them remain shows that Germany is attractive for talent from around the world”
DAAD President Margret Wintermantel said: “The international attractiveness of higher education and research locations is measured by how many foreign students are attracted to a country. The fact that so many of them remain shows that Germany is attractive for talent from around the world.”
According to prelim. data from German Fed. Stat. Office, foreign student numbers surpassed 300,000 in 2014
Other key findings from the survey reveal that Bangladesh has had the biggest increase in student numbers with a rise of 29% from 2013. Indian numbers also experienced a sharp upward trajectory, propelling the country to fourth place for the first time. While China is still the main country of origin, Eastern European numbers have also increased for the first time in six years.
The results also found that the number of American students is increasing, while the USA is decreasing in popularity with German students. “A few years ago, four German students went to the USA for every American who came to Germany; now the numbers are almost equal”, said Sebastian Forhrbeck, former head of the DAAD-office in New York.
“German higher education institutions have contributed a great deal to this positive trend by expanding summer schools, placement opportunities (such as the DAAD’s RISE programme) and exchange programmes with integrated components entailing going abroad,” said Forhrbeck.
Of the over 11,000 international students surveyed, 31% hailed from Europe, 27% from Asia, 9% from Latin America, 8% from the Middle East and 4% from Sub-Saharan Africa and the USA respectively.