Record numbers of overseas students in Germany
August 10, 2012
The number of international students registered at German universities totalled over 250,000 for the first time in 2011, according to annual data released by the German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD).
The Wissenschaft weltoffen (Science Open to the World) report, published in cooperation with the HIS-Institute for Research on Higher Education, said the record number represented 11.4 per cent of all students in Germany. Europe accounted for well over half of the international students with 141,500, followed by Asia providing around a third (72,300).
China was highlighted as Germany’s major growth market: some 22,828 Chinese students were enrolled at a German university in 2011. Professor Chen Hongjie from Peking University said in his contribution to the report, “Discovering another understanding of what it means to study and learn is a very enriching experience for young Chinese.” He said German scientific culture characteristics such as independence, a critical stance, a systematic approach and thoroughness left a deep impression on Chinese students.
Another factor in the rise of Chinese students is the fact that some 750 cooperations between German and Chinese universities are now in place. Niels Albers, Head of DAAD’s China Division, said, “Increasingly, the trend is not limited to the exchange of students, scientists and researchers, but also encompasses the joint development of curricula or even the export of entire study courses to China.”
Among European countries, Russia, Bulgaria, Poland and Austria were identified as the main contributors of students. According to OECD data, Germany ranks fourth worldwide in terms of international student enrolments, and is the highest-placed country where English is not the first language: USA, the UK and Australia make up the top three.