Humboldt University Berlin / Photo: Femi Awoniyi

Germany: Number of foreign students rises despite pandemic

The number of foreign students in Germany continues to rise even during the pandemic, a new report by the Academic Exchange Service reveals

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Despite the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, the number of foreign students in Germany has apparently increased. As the German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD) announced in Bonn on Tuesday, according to a survey-based forecast, between 330,000 and 350,000 students from abroad will be enrolled at German universities in the winter semester 2021/22. This would correspond to an increase of two to eight per cent compared to the winter semester 2020/21.

According to the data, the increase is likely to be even more pronounced among first-year students. According to the calculations, between 72,000 and 80,000 first-year students from abroad are registered in this area. Compared to the last winter semester, this would be an increase of 13 to 26 percent. In the previous year, a decline of 19 per cent was recorded in this group.

“The survey among our member universities allows us to look forward to the new year with hope: despite the Corona pandemic, the number of international students in Germany continues to increase,” explained DAAD President Joybrato Mukherjee. Almost 160 higher education institutions from all over Germany took part in the DAAD survey, where around 65 per cent of all international students in Germany are enrolled. The DAAD had made its projection for all German universities on the basis of the responses.

The figures are “a very good sign of the attractiveness of Germany as a place to study,” Mukherjee emphasised. “They also show that the joint commitment of member universities and the DAAD to attracting and supporting international students is paying off, especially during the worst pandemic in 100 years.”

Despite the ongoing pandemic, the survey also showed a clear return of international students to campus, it said. Around 80 percent of the universities surveyed estimated that at least three quarters of the international first-year students were now in Germany. 63 percent even assumed a presence of 90 to 100 percent. Only seven percent of the universities estimated that less than half of their students from abroad were actually present.

Sola Jolaoso with agency report

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