Edition 171 - July 2015

Wissenschaft weltoffen 2015: What's up, Germany?

The number of foreign students enrolled in German higher education institutions increased by about 6% between 2013 and 2014, according to the DAAD’s annual report on the international attractiveness of German higher education. They are now at 301.350, a figure which includes both foreign students educated inside Germany (Bildungsinlaender) as well as those who completed their higher education entrance qualification outside the country (Bildungsauslaender). The latter comprise the majority (around 73%) of the foreign student population, and a full 88% of them intend to pursue a full degree in Germany. 

While impressive, the 6% increase in the amount of foreign students in Germany did not have a significant impact on their proportion to the student population as a whole. In 2014, they represented 11.5%, compared to 11.3% in 2013. This speaks to the steady growth of the general higher education student population in Germany.

In regards to their origin, nearly half (47%) of Bildungsauslaender were of European origin (Austria and Bulgaria, notably). However, China alone accounted for 15% of Bildungsausländer enrolment in 2013/14 (28,381 students), and the proportion of Asian students increased by 11% since the previous year, climbing to 38% of the total. The number of Indian students pursuing a higher education degree in Germany is on the increase: They grew almost by a third between 2013 and 2014.

In terms of chosen field of study, the preferences of the Bildungsauslaender are clear: 23% were enrolled in Cultural Studies; 22% in Engineering; and 20% in the general category of Law, Economics/Business Administration and Social Sciences (20%). Engineering in particular saw a dramatic increase of 13% in enrolments since the last report. 

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