New figures released by Germany’s academic exchange service DAAD show that the country experienced a 5% rise in international student enrollment during the past academic year. The total number of non-domestic students reached 368,000, surpassing the previous year’s 350,000. For the first time, Indian students took the lead, numbering around 46,000, surpassing the Chinese as the largest nationality group.
DAAD President Joybrato Mukherjee attributed the growing demand to the high quality of academic education, the absence of fees at the majority of German public universities for international students, and the promising career opportunities for university graduates in the German labor market. The German government has actively sought to recruit skilled workers from abroad and attract more international students to address the country’s skilled labor shortage.
Germany’s public universities, known for their high-quality education, are generally tuition-free for international students. However, the Technische Universität München is set to introduce fees for non-EU students under new rules in the state of Bavaria.
International students at Germany’s Applied Sciences universities more than doubled in the past decade to nearly 107,000, marking a 140% increase. Standard universities experienced a 64% increase over the same period.
DAAD also reported a significant rise in the number of Ukrainian students in Germany during the winter semester, reaching 9,100, a 43% increase from the previous academic year.
Germany is also becoming a popular destination for international researchers, with around 70,000 international scientists working in the country. It ranks as the joint second most popular destination for international researchers, tied with the UK and trailing only the USA.
Germany has consistently demonstrated success in retaining international students, with research from the OECD revealing that Germany and Canada lead globally in retaining more than 60% of students who obtained a visa in 2015 and remained in the country in 2020.