The Free Press Journal publishes articles by study abroad consultants, Consulates, foreign universities, international students, and much more every Saturday to give its readers a glimpse of the world of overseas education.)
The number of international students at German universities has continued to increase in the winter semester of 2022-23. According to a survey by the DAAD, around 3,60,000 to 3,70,000 international students are currently enrolled at German universities. The number of first-semester students from abroad has risen strongly again, and according to a projection by the DAAD, it lies between 75,000 and 85,000.
Reasons that help Germany’s popularity
That brings us to the question - What makes Germany a favoured study destination? The straightforward answer would be that German universities offer widely recognised top-quality education programmes at Bachelor, Master, and Ph.D. levels in English medium, that a large number of German universities charge no or low tuition fees, that after completing the degree, students can move on to a higher degree or stay in Germany for 18 months to look for a job; and that students can do part-time jobs to earn pocket money. Add to this the fact that internships allow students to get excellent exposure to the industry in Germany, today the strongest economy in Europe.
With all these plus points, it is no wonder that Germany is seen as the go-to place for higher education by Indian students. Last year Germany hosted 34,134 Indian students. While a majority went for various branches of engineering followed by management, social, and natural sciences, one also needs to look at the carefully crafted yet somewhat off-beat programmes offered by German universities that have found a very good resonance with discerning students and young professionals.
Abundant student experiences define Germany’s academic potential
Let us take a look at the choices made by some of the Indian students in Germany in 2021-22. Adarsh Verghese George, a biomedical engineer, was working with the Department of Health, Kerala, on a project of the National Health Mission. It was after this that he found his calling in the field of public health and moved to the University of Heidelberg, Germany, for a Master's degree in the subject.
The top-quality research infrastructure and facilities coupled with the freedom available for students in planning and executing their research go a long way in making young researchers decide upon Germany as the place for their Ph.D. as can be seen from Amanpreet Kaur Bains’s career path. She graduated in Biology from India, pursued her Master's in the UK, and is today pursuing her Ph.D. in stem cells and extracellular matrix at the University of Leipzig, Germany.
It is not just the programmes in engineering and sciences but also those in upcoming subjects such as design that attract Indian students. Chinmaya Chaitanya opted for a Bachelor’s degree in graphic design and visual communication offered by the Berlin International University of Applied Sciences.
Indian students today form the second largest group of foreign students in Germany. An Academic Evaluation Center (APS) has been established in New Delhi under the German Embassy in 2022 to ease visa applications for Indian students. One hopes that these efforts will support the growth of Indian students in the coming years.
The author is Senior Advisor – Communication and PR, DAAD – German Academic Exchange Service Regional Office New Delhi.
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