Leipzig, the most populous city in the German state of Saxony/Photo: Femi Awoniyi

Saxony wants to attract more students from abroad

Saxony, one of Germany’s 16 federal states, wants to attract more students from abroad and, if possible, retain them later as skilled workers.

Universities receive support in identifying target regions for recruiting students, said Science Minister Sebastian Gemkow (CDU) in a government statement in the state parliament on Wednesday in the capital city, Dresden.

Special importance is attached to the preparation and support of students from abroad. Their integration into society and the economy is to be readjusted with special attention to language training.

According to statistics, the proportion of foreign students at Saxony’s universities in the winter semester 2021/2022 was 17.2 per cent, six percentage points higher than ten years earlier. The national average at the same time was 15 per cent. The proportion is much higher at Saxony’s art colleges. Here, almost every third student (31 per cent) comes from abroad. In relation to all universities, most foreign students come from China, India and Austria.

Germany is one of the countries most preferred by international students, partly because they have relatively good access to the labour market not only during their studies, but also after graduation. According to the German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD), 349,438 international students were enrolled at German universities in the winter semester 2021/22.

In view of the shortage of skilled workers, international students must be tied more closely to the German labour market. To achieve this, political and structural obstacles must be removed, explained the DAAD in a recent report. The students are “highly qualified and well integrated”, explained DAAD President Joybrato Mukherjee. “We should make more strategic use of their great potential as skilled workers in Germany.”

According to the DAAD, only about one third of international students still live and work in Germany ten years after successfully completing their studies. The agency believes that political decision makers, universities and the private sector have a duty to double this proportion by 2030.

Vivian Asamoah

READ ALSO: Number of foreign students rises to record level in Germany

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