Market intelligence for international student recruitment from ICEF
18th Oct 2023

International enrolments in German higher education rise again for a new record

Short on time? Here are the highlights:
  • Record numbers of international students were enrolled in Germany in 2022/23
  • Foreign enrolments in German higher education institutions increased 5% over the previous year, following an 8% increase in 2021/22
  • India has displaced China as Germany’s top source market for students

Germany received more international students than ever in the winter semester of 2022/23: 367,578, up 5% compared with the total in 2021/22, according to the German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD). This marks the fifth consecutive year of growth.

International student enrolment growth in German higher education 2018/19 to 2022/23.
Source: DAAD

As many first-time international students were in Germany in the 2022/23 winter semester as before the pandemic in 2019: 117,900. Of Germany’s total student population, international students make up 12%, rising to 23% in master’s programmes (compared with 7% in bachelor’s programmes).

Top countries and regions

The overall increase in international student enrolments in 2022/23 was driven by India, which has now replaced China as the top source country for German universities and which now accounts for 12% of all international students in the country. Chinese enrolments declined for the second consecutive year.

The top five source countries for Germany in 2022/23 were:

  1. India: 42,578
  2. China: 39,137
  3. Syria: 15,563
  4. Austria: 14,762
  5. Turkey: 14,732

There are many more Ukrainian students as well, up 43% since 2021/22 for a total of around 9,100.

The top sending regions were Asia/Pacific (32%), North Africa and Middle East (19%), and Western Europe (17%). The fastest growing region for Germany is North Africa and the Middle East: +58% in the past five years.

International students drawn to scientific programmes

More than 4 in 10 foreign students in Germany are pursuing engineering programmes. Germany is clearly a top destination for science-minded students, not least because of the Applied Science universities in the country. Enrolments in those institutions have risen by 140% over the past decade, compared with 64% for more generally oriented universities.

Education and immigration goals clearly linked

DAAD commissioned a study from the OECD to measure how the country is doing relative to 15 other countries at retaining the international students educated at its universities. That study found that 45% of international students remain in Germany 10 years after graduation to work. Only Canada was competitive on this count, with 44% of students educated in Canada still working in the country 10 years after completing their studies.

For additional information, please see:

Most Recent

  • UK confirms Graduate Route will remain in place; plans “crackdown” on student visas and “rogue agents” Read More
  • Will the US host 2 million international students within the decade? Read More
  • Ghanaian students are intent on study abroad but currency woes present a challenge Read More

Most Popular

  • Canada’s foreign enrolment grew by more than 30% in 2022 Read More
  • Measuring cost of study and cost of living across study destinations Read More
  • Recruiting in the Emirates: Big goals, world-class education, and new scholarships Read More

Because you found this article interesting

UK confirms Graduate Route will remain in place; plans “crackdown” on student visas and “rogue agents” Ahead of a snap general election called for 4 July 2024, and after months of speculation, a joint...
Read more
Will the US host 2 million international students within the decade? A new analysis from international research firm HolonIQ sets out four future growth scenarios for foreign enrolment in...
Read more
Ghanaian students are intent on study abroad but currency woes present a challenge Ghana’s ascent as a key emerging student market is well illustrated by recent enrolment growth in leading destinations....
Read more
UK ELT posts another year of growth to reach 75% of pre-pandemic volumes in 2023 The UK’s English Language Teaching (ELT) sector continued its post-pandemic recovery last year, enrolling more students and delivering...
Read more
Survey of Japanese agents indicates significant recovery in outbound student numbers for 2023 The annual survey of The Japan Association of Overseas Studies (JAOS) has just been released. This year’s survey...
Read more
Data shows a decline in Nigerian student searches for study abroad; UK may be hardest-hit Nigeria has been one of the most important new sources of students for leading study destinations worldwide in...
Read more
ICEF Podcast: How policy interventions are impacting student planning for study abroad Listen in as ICEF’s Craig Riggs and Martijn van de Veen check in on how foreign exchange trends...
Read more
EU sets goal of sending at least 23% of university students and 12% of VET students abroad by 2030 Erasmus+, already the world’s largest student mobility programme, will play a significant role in a new goal set...
Read more
What are you looking for?
Quick Links