Mumbai: Students wishing to study in Germany will no longer have to wait on paper-printed Akademische Prüfstelle (APS) certificates, as the German Embassy’s Academic Evaluation Centre in New Delhi will be issuing digital certificates instead.
APS certificate, which was introduced in India in November 2022, is a prerequisite for a Germany-bound Indian student’s visa application and authenticates their academic documents for them to be eligible to study in the country.
‘Auf wiedersehen’ to paper-printed certificates
Once the process is complete, the digitally signed verification certificates will be issued in a pdf file format to the students and sent to their registered email ids.
All certificates, starting April 24, 2023, have been issued digitally to the individuals with ones going to Germany on partnership or exchange program not being eligible for the same.
The development will have no impact on those who have already received their paper-printed certificates as they will still be valid while applying to German universities.
Marred by a massive backlog of applications, digital certificates could accelerate processing times and make it easier for applicants to apply to more universities in Germany.
Move amid complaints of delay, lack of communication
Many students have raised concerns over the lack of communication from the APS office in New Delhi regarding their applications despite multiple emails and calls, with universities also highlighting the issues stemming from the delays, as reported by The Free Press Journal on April 22.
“Please understand that we do not have the resources to individually reply to requests on the status because we are focussing all our resources on the verification,” said a statement by Kasper Meyer, Science Counsellor at the Germany Embassy, on the Mission’s official social media handle.
Over APS 25,000 applications on German Embassy’s table
As per numbers obtained by the FPJ, since the inception of the APS requirement for Indian students (in November 2022) which used to be restricted to Chinese and Vietnamese students previously, 7000 certificates have been sent out to the applicants with the authorities receiving 25,000 applications in the last six months between November, 2022 - April, 2023.
No plans to set up APS operations outside of Delhi
With the processing of applications being conducted out of its office in Delhi, the German Embassy has no plans to expand its operations outside the comforts of the city.
“The processing of applications is centralised in Delhi. As applicants can hand in their applications by post and certificates will be issued digitally in the near future, there is currently no need to open APS offices in other cities in India,” a spokesperson of the German Embassy in New Delhi told the FPJ, who added that the Embassy has substantially increased the staff of the APS and streamlined the application process.
Intake deadlines forces German universities to step in
With the Summer intake in Germany already commencing in March-April, and the entire application duration covering the stretch between early December and mid-January, APS is working with state-recognised universities across the European nation to facilitate the applications of their respective candidates.
“German universities are actively providing APS with admissions lists for the upcoming winter semester intake. With utmost priority, APS is expediting the processing of these lists to facilitate the timely arrival of as many students as possible to Germany for the commencement of the winter semester,” the Spokesperson added.
Indian students second largest group in Germany
Though China remains the top source country for international students, with some 40,055 students enrolled in German institutions, Indians form the second largest group of international student cohort with more than 35,000 pupils.
Engineering Sciences (68.21%), Mathematics, Natural Sciences (11.93%) Management, Law & Social Sciences (13.97%) are some of the most popular courses among students from India, according to official numbers revealed by DAAD India to the FPJ.
For more details on digital certificates students can visit - Link here
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