Edition 218 - June 2019

Germany: Wissenschaft weltoffen 2019 is out

Germany’s answer to America’s Open Doors report (IIE) is out. As all the previous years, Wissenschaft weltoffen 2019 was published by ACA’ German member, the DAAD and produced for this organisation by the well-reputed Deutsches Zentum für Hochschul- und Wissenschaftsforschung, whose abbreviation DZHW remains something of a tongue-breaker, even for native speakers of German. The focus of the publication is on foreign students studying in Germany, but the report also contains data on German students abroad and on foreign researchers in Germany and German researchers elsewhere in the world.

The report proudly announces that, after having overtaken France, Germany is now the fourth-most-often-chosen destination of foreign students in the world. Behind the US, the UK and Australia, it is also the most-favoured non-English-speaking destination. In the last academic year for which data are available (2017/18), there were 375 000 students of foreign nationality enrolled in German universities and colleges, which correspond to about (7% of all international students world-wide). Of these, 282 000 were Bildungsausländer, i.e. students whose country of prior education was not Germany and who had therefore come to Germany for the purpose of study. The remaining 93 000 were educated in Germany but had a foreign nationality.  

The quantitatively most important countries of origin amongst Bildungsausländer in Germany are China (37 000), India (17 000), Austria (11 000) and Russia (10 800). All other countries have 4-digit or lower numbers. Together, these four countries have a share of nearly 27% of all Bildungsausländer in Germany. It is remarkable that within one year, the number of students from Syria rose by 64%, making Syria the source country no. 6. Overall, the number of students from countries with heavy refugee outflows is now estimated at 24 000.  Just as the number of foreign-nationality degree-seeking students has risen, so has the number of degree-seeking Germans abroad, which now stands at 145 000. One out of three of all German students spend a period of study abroad (credit mobility) in the course of their studies.

The special focus of this year’s edition – the 19th overall – is foreign students’ and staff’s perceptions of the quality and the attractiveness of German higher education. Further details can be found in the full report.

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