Germany is now the 4th most popular study destination in the world

Germany is now the 4th most popular study destination in the world

Germany has overtaken France to become the most popular non-English-speaking study destination, a new report has found. International students are particularly attracted by the quality of education and the lack of tuition fees

Studying in Germany increasingly popular 

After the United States, Britain and Australia, in 2016 the most foreign students were enrolled in universities in Germany. That makes it not only the fourth most popular destination overall but also the number one non-English-speaking country for international students worldwide. This was made clear in the new “Wissenschaft weltoffen” report by the German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD) and the German Centre for Higher Education and Science Research (DZHW). 

Student enrollment numbers from 2016 (the most recent year for which sufficient data are available) show that almost 252.000 so-called Bildungsausländer (those who did not complete secondary education at German schools) were studying at Germany universities that year, 16.000 more than the year before and 6.000 more than in France. Since 2016, the numbers have continued to rise, with more than 282.000 international students enrolling in Germany for the winter semester 2017 / 2018.  

Foreign students attracted by quality education and zero fees

The report also showed that certain nationalities are especially prominent among Germany’s foreign student population. Topping the list was China, with nearly 37.000 students enrolled in German universities in 2018. The next most common countries of origin were India (17.294), Austria (11.130) and Russia (10.795).

Considering the motives of the internationals who come to Germany to study, the report referred to an earlier study, published in 2016, which found that three-quarters of foreign students were attracted by the high quality of education in the federal republic. 

An additional 80 percent said that they would recommend studying in Germany to friends and acquaintances from their home country. That report also speculated that financial considerations played a role: unlike many popular study destinations, German universities do not charge tuition fees, even to foreign students.



Abi Carter

Managing Editor at IamExpat Media. Abi studied German and History at the University of Manchester and has since lived in Berlin, Hamburg and Utrecht, working since 2017 as a writer,...

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