COVID-19 fails to slow down growth of German int’l student numbers

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COVID-19 fails to slow down growth of German int'l student numbers
Most of the international students in Germany are from China and India.

The COVID-19 pandemic has failed to slow down the growth in the number of international students in Germany. As per the latest data released by DAAD (German Academic Exchange Service), the German international student body continued to grow throughout the pandemic. It reached close to 350,000 students during AY 2021-22.

Number of International Students in Germany
*WS: Winter Semester; Image Source: DAAD Report

Compared to the previous year, AY 2021-22 marks an 8% increase in the number of international students in Germany. Despite the rise in international student numbers, the number of first-year students in German universities did see a downfall.

It’s interesting to note that China continues to be the top source of students for a German university with a 12% share of international students. However, the surge in the number of new Chinese students has slowed down.

India was the second largest source of international students for Germany, with a 9% share in the international student population. The number of students from India increased by 65% from AY 2017-18 and now stands at 28,500.

During the academic year 2020–2021, the Asia–Pacific area accounted for 31% of all international students. North Africa and the Middle East followed with 20%, and Western Europe at 17%..

Over the past three years, the number of students from the MENA region increased noticeably more quickly than that of students from other regions. In the winter semester of 2020–21, German universities welcomed more international students in master’s programmes than bachelor’s programmes, with the majority of Western European students coming from Austria, Italy, and France.

Germany has managed to maintain its positive reputation among students and doctoral candidates around the world over the last two years, and is now reaping the rewards of its ongoing efforts to ensure quality and provide care for international students, according to DAAD President Joybrato Mukherjee. He added that there is also a great opportunity to talk about the lack of trained workers in the country.

German Minister of Education Bettina Stark-Watzinger stated that foreign students “represent a tremendous potential of competent workers.” He said that it was “quite pleasant” to see the rise.

Over the previous five years, the number of Germans studying abroad has stayed steady at 138,000. The most popular international destinations are Austria, the Netherlands, and the United Kingdom.

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