Market intelligence for international student recruitment from ICEF
Shape the future of international education at the ICEF Monitor Summit September 23rd 2024, InterContinental London - The O2
8th Aug 2016

Germany’s international enrolment grew again in 2015

The number of international students in Germany increased by nearly 7% between 2014 and 2015. This marks a sixth straight year of growth, a third year in which enrolment grew by more than 6%, and overall growth of 32% over the past decade. In Wissenschaft weltoffen kompakt 2016 (“Facts and Figures on the International Nature of Studies and Research in Germany”) the German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD) and the German Centre for Higher Education Research and Science Studies (DZHW) highlight that the number of foreign students increased from 301,350 in 2014 to 321,569 last year. As always, the two agencies are reporting on two distinct categories of students within that overall count: Bildungsinländer (students of other nationalities who completed secondary school in Germany) and Bildungsausländer (those that completed their secondary studies outside Germany). Interestingly, nearly nine of ten foreign students who completed their qualifying studies outside the country are studying towards a degree at a German institution. foreign-student-enrolment-in-germany-2009–2015 Foreign student enrolment in Germany, 2009-2015. Source: DAAD, DZHW These topline numbers for 2015 put Germany comfortably on pace toward its longer-term goal to host 350,000 foreign students by 2020. They also secure its position among the top six study destinations worldwide, after only the US, UK, Australia, China, and Canada. In fact, another recent trends study from India’s M.M Advisory Services forecasts that Germany may soon overtake the UK as the leading study destination in Europe. “Last year, [Germany] attracted a lot of attention globally when it announced an initiative to waive off tuition fees for international students,” says M.M. Advisory. “That’s made many students, especially in high-cost countries including the US, to start evaluating Germany as a serious option for international education. Based on the past three years’ momentum, and the smart initiatives being rolled out to attract students, we are projecting that Germany will overtake UK and become the international education leader in Europe in the next five years.” The report refers broadly to a number of factors that have boosted Germany’s attractiveness in recent years, including the increasing number of English-taught programmes at the master’s level, low (or even no) tuition fees, and strengthened post-study work rights for international students.

Stable sources, but India on the move

As the following chart illustrates, the global distribution of foreign students in Germany remained fairly consistent relative to 2014. bildungsauslaender-in-germany-by-region-of-origin-2015 Bildungsausländer in Germany, by region of origin, 2015. Source: DAAD, DZHW The main change that we can observe is that the percentage attributed to South, Southeast, and East Asia is slightly higher in 2015 (compared to 2014) and the proportion for Eastern Europe has declined slightly. This shift is largely accounted for by a nearly 25% increase in Indian enrolment in 2015. That increase, from 9,372 students in 2014 to 11,655 last year, also saw India move into the number two spot among the top 20 sending markets for Germany, shading past Russia which moved down a spot to hold third place in the table for 2015. As the following graphic reflects, however, Germany’s international enrolment is impressively diversified. China remains the leading source country, accounting for nearly 13% of foreign students who completed secondary school outside Germany. But after that lead position, the enrolment becomes quite widely distributed indeed, and stands in sharp contrast to the more highly concentrated enrolments in other leading study destinations around the world. bildungsauslaender-from-the-top-20-countries-of-origin-2015 Bildungsausländer from the top 20 countries of origin, 2015. Source: DAAD, DZHW In terms of level of study, there was a slight shift in 2015 in favour of post-graduate degrees (32.6% of foreign enrolment rather than 30.3% in 2014), but the proportion of students in undergraduate studies remained fairly consistent as well (roughly 34-35% over the two years). Overall, foreign students represented just under 12% of total higher education enrolment in Germany last year.

Most Recent

  • Australia: Study visa grants down nearly a third through April 2024 Read More
  • Study maps employment pathways for international graduates in US; calls for expanded career services Read More
  • Home Office data confirms downturn in UK visa issuances through Q1 2024 Read More

Most Popular

  • Comparing student visa proof of funds requirements across 20 study destinations Read More
  • Canada: More provincial cap numbers announced; IRCC moves up end date for post-graduate work for partnership programmes Read More
  • Lessons from Denmark: The downside of limiting international student flows Read More

Because you found this article interesting

Australia: Study visa grants down nearly a third through April 2024 Data from Australia’s Department of Home Affairs shows that study visa grants are down significantly for the first...
Read more
Study maps employment pathways for international graduates in US; calls for expanded career services Career motivations are consistently revealed in major global research studies to be a primary driver of the choices...
Read more
Home Office data confirms downturn in UK visa issuances through Q1 2024 A 13 June data release from the UK Home Office confirms a decrease in student visa issuances for...
Read more
Australia moves to curtail onshore “visa hopping” Australia’s Minister for Home Affairs Clare O’Neil announced today the next phase of implementation in the package of...
Read more
ICEF Podcast: The outlook for international education in the USA – live from NAFSA Listen in as ICEF’s Craig Riggs and Martijn van de Veen recap some recent industry news, including an...
Read more
Canada’s Immigration Minister signals that changes are coming to post-study work rights For more than 15 years now, international students have been able to come to Canada, complete any type...
Read more
IDP investor guidance warns of market downturn through 2025 IDP Education is one the largest service providers in international education. As a publicly traded company on the...
Read more
US launches new market diversification dashboard Given the need for new and better ways to collect and interpret data on international student movement, we...
Read more
What are you looking for?
Quick Links