Despite Indian students growing by 26% from last year at 42,997 in Germany (34,134 in 2021-22), the once-dominant Engineering discipline has seen a dip in the number of course takers from India in the Winter Semester 2022-23.
Indians, who now form the largest group of international students at German universities, saw only 60% of their cohort opting for Engineering courses in 2022-23 compared to 68.21% in 2021-22, as per data seen by The Free Press Journal.
Engineering's loss gain for other subjects
Other subject fields such as Law, Management, and Social Studies; Mathematics, and Natural Sciences saw a significant rise at 22% and 14% this year in contrast to 13.97% and 11.93% last year, respectively. Indians make up only 4% of other courses outside of these prominent disciplines in Germany.
According to Dhanashree Deodhar, Regional Officer, Maharashtra, Gujarat, Goa & Madhya Pradesh, of DAAD, a German government-funded international student organisation, the dip in numbers for Engineering signals the diversity of top courses in Germany that are now sought after by Indian students.
“We also saw many students go for Management, Technology Management courses this year. Though Engineering and STEM remain popular, Germany’s reputation in Business has also led interested candidates to apply for courses specific to the field,” Dhanashree told The FPJ.
More than 40% in vocational univs, third of students females
Indians now also make up a major chunk of enrollments at Germany’s Fachhochschulens, also known as universities of applied sciences, which tend to be more vocational and provide job-oriented study compared to Hochschules, popularly known as research universities.
As per Germany’s Federal Statistical Office, 42% of Indian students have admitted themselves to universities of applied sciences while 58% of them are part of research institutes. Moreover, a third of these students are females at 30% with the other 70% being males.
Germans rejoice more Indian students as it stares at labour shortage
More Indians pursuing their education in Germany has led to celebration among German officials in India, who are throwing everything but the kitchen sink to fill the workforce gap in an ageing, recession-hit economy.
“Great! 42,000+ Indian students in Germany, 25 % more within one year. India now no. 1 group of foreign students in Germany, much faster than expected! Germany is popular among Indian students – and Indian students are popular in Germany, I hear from professors very often,” said the tweet by the German Ambassador to India Philipp Ackermann on August 10.
Despite increase in students, APS process turns troublesome
Though the number of pupils from India to Germany has doubled in the last five years, mandatory Akademische Prüfstelle (APS) certification has proved to be a hindrance for applicants.
The process, which is only followed in China, Vietnam, and India, was initiated by the German Embassy in India in November 2022 in light of the rising number of fraudulent student visa applications from the country.
But longer wait times, lack of communication between the officials and applicants, and more have led to many students flagging their concerns about the process, as reported by The FPJ last month.
“In June 2023, APS managed to clear 2500 certificates and in July 2023 we managed to send 5,300 certificates which is double the number in a month,” Kasper Meyer, Science Counselor, German Embassy told The FPJ. Meyer added that study visa slots are being increased across India to cater to the students.
Moreover, Ambassador Ackermann has also written to German universities to extend intake deadlines as many students might not be able to make it to Germany before the set dates due to the time staking procedure.