Germany vs UK: Which is the Better Study Abroad Destination?

10 minute read
Germany vs UK
Germany vs UK

Hi! I’m Astronaut Alex 👨‍🚀🚀, and today, we’re talking about Germany vs UK. Do you know which country is better for studying? Well, don’t fret if you feel confused between the two nations. I’ll help you understand their comparison. 

One thing an international student always finds difficult to choose is the country they want to study in. Studying abroad is a huge decision, and you have to consider all aspects to find the most suitable deal for you. Germany and the UK have created educational hubs that attract international students to study in their countries, but which country is good for you, considering your budget, course preferences and university choices? Well, the detailed comparison given below will give you a chance to decide between Germany vs the UK!

Hope you have a gist of studying in Germany and the UK. This is just the beginning! Join me as I take you on a journey of understanding their comparison. Let’s go!🚀

🎓Why Choose Germany?

Germany is a part of the European Union and the largest economy in Europe. A country that was destroyed witnessing two world wars has now created a dominating service sector that accounts for 69% (approx) of their GDP. This sector gives rise to more employment opportunities for international students after graduation. Germany is also known for its modern cars, automobile engineering courses and activities.

🎓Why Choose the UK?

The UK is the pivot of international education and especially a preference for Indian students. Ease of communication and a world-renowned education system make this country of the Royals a suitable option. UK’s diverse community and cultural exchange are credited for bringing in international students and making the campuses of top universities warm and welcoming. In addition, London, one of the most important global financial hubs, makes it an ideal choice for international students looking for corporate exposure.

 🏫Top Universities 

When it comes to top universities in Germany vs the UK, let’s compare them with the rankings provided by QS World University Rankings 2024. 


According to the QS World University Rankings, only 3 universities in Germany made it to the top 100 universities globally. The universities and rankings are given below-

Universities in Germany QS World Universities Ranking 2024
Technical University of Munich 37
Ludwig-Maximilians-Universitat- Munchen54

The Ruprecht-Karls-Universität-Heidelberg or the Heidelberg University offers courses only in the German language.


Seventeen universities from the UK have made it to the top 100 universities globally, and 3 have even made it to the top 10 list. The UK has more than 164 universities, and all of them have an advantage for international students as they teach in the English language. 

The top universities and rankings are given below-

Universities in the UK QS World Universities Rankings 2024
Oxford University3
Cambridge University2
Imperial College London6
University College London9
Edinburgh University22
Manchester University32
King’s College London40
London School of Economics and Political Science45
Warwick University67
Bristol University 55
Glasgow University76
Southhampton University81
Durham University 78
Birmingham University 84
St Andrews University 95
Leeds University 75
Sheffield University 104


As you can see, the universities in the UK are ranked higher than the universities in Germany. Hence, we will grant +2 points to the UK in this round of Germany vs UK. 

👩‍🎓International Students 


In 2021, Germany saw 330,000 international students enrolled in the top universities. Research conducted by ICEF Monitor also tells us that the numbers have shown growth despite the pandemic. The growing numbers can be attributed to a lot of international students previously in Germany opting for advanced education in this country itself. 



When it comes to the number of international students in Germany vs UK race, the UK has the upper hand. According to TCL Global, more than 500,000 international students have enrolled for higher education in the UK’s top universities. Indian and Chinese students make up the largest ethnic group of the cluster. Hence, the UK receives +2 points in this round. 

🎓Admission Requirements 


Admission requirements in Germany vary depending on the academic program and institution. However, the following are the general requirements:

  • English-taught programs, in general, require evidence of English language skills, which are often proved by examinations such as IELTS (with a score range of 6.5-7.0) or TOEFL  (with a score range of 80-100). 
  • Exams such as TestDaF (with a minimum of TDN 4) or DSH (at Level 2) can be used to validate expertise in German programs. 
  • Most master’s programs require applicants to have a bachelor’s degree with a GPA between 2.5 and 3.0. GRE/GMAT scores may be required in some areas. 
  • A suitable master’s degree and a well-defined research proposal are often required for doctoral programs.
  • Some important documents that the student needs to submit are:
  1. Translation of the course modules and grades. Certified copy of a high-school diploma or a previously completed degree,
  2. Proof of language proficiency – German and/or English,
  3. Passport photo(s),
  4. Copy of your passport,
  5. Motivation letter, and
  6. Application fee.
  • Also, make sure that you apply for a student visa. 


Here are the entry requirements for UK universities:

  • Students must achieve 70-100 on the TOEFL, 6.5 on the IELTS, 54+ on the PTE, and 105-120 on the Duolingo Test. 
  • Applicants must be able to present the following documentation:
  1. A valid passport
  2. Academic transcripts
  3. ID proof
  4. Statement of Purpose
  5. English language proficiency scores
  6. Letters of recommendation
  7. CV/ Resume
  8. Other exam scores, if any
  9. Portfolio (if applicable)
  • They need to have scored at least 65% marks in their Class 12 exam. 


The above comparison demonstrates that getting admission to universities in both Germany and the UK is equally hard. Hence, none of the countries will receive any points in this round of Germany vs UK. 

💸Tuition Fees


According to the websites of the universities in Germany, the average annual tuition fees in the country are as follows:  

Study Program Average Annual Tuition Fee
Undergraduate €300 
Postgraduate€300 – €28,000
Doctoral€300 – €3000


As per websites of the universities in the UK, this is what the average annual tuition cots look like in the nation: 

Study Program Average Annual Tuition Fee
Undergraduate £8,000 – £30,000
Doctoral£20,000 – £50,000


The above comparison shows that average cost of tuition in Germany is less than in the UK. Hence, Germany will receive +2 points in this section of Germany vs UK.  

💸Cost of Living 

Let’s compare the cost of living in Germany and the UK with the help of the table given below- 

Types of Expenses GermanyUK
Tuition Fees20.39 lakhs per year25 lakhs per year
Accommodation70,000 per month51,480 per month
Food4,250 per week5,150 per week
Travel6,880 per month19,840 per month
Utilities 21,000 per month 25,410 per month

Note: All denominations in INR.

Some universities in Germany also provide low-cost or free education. Therefore, the numbers given above are based on the average expenses of general students.


The table given above shows that the cost of living in the UK is higher than in Germany. Hence, Germany will receive +2 points in this round of Germany vs UK. 

Cost of Living Calculator


Germany has an evergrowing popularity for engineering, especially automotive engineering, as it is the fourth-largest producer of automobiles in the world. Therefore, the most popular fields of study are- 


Name a course and the UK has the university or college that ranks highly in that stream. However, by choice of international students, these are the most popular courses to study in the UK


It is apparent from the above comparison that both countries have an equally diverse range of courses. Hence, both countries will receive +2 points in this section of Germany vs UK. 

👩‍🎓Work Permit & PR


Eligibility Criteria for a Work Permit in Germany 

The following are the requirements for obtaining a work permit in Germany:

  • You must have a legitimate job offer from a German company.
  • You must have the necessary qualifications and competencies for the post.
  • It is critical to establish that you have health insurance coverage for your stay in Germany.
  • Apply for a work-related residence permit through the German embassy or consulate in your native country.
  • Provide your prospective employer with a signed employment contract.
  • Ascertain that you have enough lodging arrangements in Germany.

Apply for a Work Permit in Germany

To work in Germany, non-EU residents must get a work visa as well as residence permission. They must make contact with the German embassy or consulate in their home country.  Their application must include the following information:

  • Valid passport
  • Certificates of academic qualification
  • Job offer letter from the firm in Germany
  • Annexure for an employment permit
  • Approval letter from the Federal Employment Agency
  • Certificates of work experience

Work permit applications are processed in about 1-3 months.

PR in Germany

To be eligible for a German Permanent Residence Permit, you must have lived in Germany for at least five years (or three years if married to a German citizen). You must also provide proof of employment, financial means, and German language skills.


Eligibility Criteria for a Work Permit in the UK

A work permit cannot be obtained directly from the United Kingdom. Your employer must apply on your behalf in the United Kingdom. The duration of your visa will be determined by the nature of your activity and the type of license you obtain. 

To obtain a work permit in the UK, you must have:

  • UK Job details, 
  • English Language Proficiency, 
  • Certificate of Sponsorship,
  • Passport & travel history,
  • Educational and business credentials, and 
  • Evidence you are located outside the UK & employed by a non-UK-based company.

Apply for a Work Permit in the UK

The work visa is intended for highly trained and qualified foreign workers who can help the UK’s economic growth and productivity. Entrepreneurs, investors, and extraordinary talent can apply for this visa category.

This category includes the following occupations:

  • IT specialists;
  • Engineers;
  • Doctors (Physicians);
  • Scientists;
  • Finance experts;
  • Innovators;
  • Entrepreneurs;
  • Others

You normally get a decision on your work visa within 3 weeks of applying. 

PR in the UK

PR is also known as Indefinite Leave to Remain (ILR) in the United Kingdom. In most cases, you must have continuously stayed in the UK for a minimum of 5 years before applying for UK PR. The amount of time required to achieve UK PR status, on the other hand, is dependent on the type of UK visa you possess.


The process of getting a work permit and PR is slightly easier in Germany than in the UK. Hence, Germany will receive +2 points in this round of Germany vs UK. 

💸Average Salary


According to Expatrio, the average graduate starting income in Germany is €44,000 per year. A master’s degree holder, on the other hand, may expect to earn an annual gross salary of €61,906 in Germany. 


According to Indeed, the average salary in the UK after graduation is £29,500 per year. In the country, the average yearly pay for a postgraduate is £30,442.


The average salary in Germany is higher in comparison to the UK. Hence, we will award +2 points to Germany in this round of Germany vs UK. 

👩‍🎓Student Life 

A student only leads a few hours of his life in classes or universities. They wish to experience a country’s culture, nightlife, and heritage for the rest of their time. So student life is extremely important to consider before making a Germany vs UK decision.


Germany is a melting pot of all European cultures. You’ll see Italians, French, Polish and many other international students in your class. Apart from that, you will also find British, American and Russians in large numbers. This diversity allows you to explore and network with people from all corners of the world. Also, the language barriers do not exist as Germans in Munich, Berlin and the big cities of Germany speak good English. Germany is also famous for its historic monuments and sites like museums, lakes, and festivities that make for a good one-day trip.


While Germany challenges the traveller in you, the UK makes you feel more at home. This is because of the huge Indian community present in the country. Apart from that, the UK is a major English-speaking nation, making it easy for Indian students to adjust to. Compared to Germany, a student in the UK is more comfortable adjusting due to language, work culture, welcoming atmosphere and cultural exchange. 


When we calculate the total scores of Germany and the UK, we see that Germany has received 10 points, while the UK has received 6 points. Hence, Germany has won this contest. However, please keep in mind that both countries are excellent study-abroad destinations, offering world-class education and employment opportunities. So, make sure that you choose your study-abroad destination in line with your needs. 

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Germany vs Canada: Which is a Better Study-Abroad Destination?France vs Netherlands: Which is the Better Study-Abroad Destination?
Netherlands vs Germany: Which is the Better Study Abroad Destination?France vs Ireland: Which is the Better Study-Abroad Destination?

That’s all we have on Germany vs the UK! Hope you enjoyed this blog, and it helped you decide for yourself. Many Indian students dream of pursuing education in foreign nations due to the exposure and career growth they offer. Consider joining a free counselling session with Leverage Edu if you plan to study abroad.

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