The reasons students choose Germany are threefold,
according to Tobias Bargmann, founder of MyGermanUni-versity:
world-class universities, availability of studies in
English, and no tuition fees.
Set up in 2019, MyGermanUniversity.com aims to assist
international students in finding a suitable master’s degree in
English. With a current list of around 1,650 programs, it also
offers unique user features such as sorting by application
deadlines, language requirements or by Uni-Assist – the or-ganisation
that evaluates international student applications
for 180 German universities.
“Since our launch in July 2019 we have reached not only
thousands of users worldwide, but also a number of German
universities that are interested in our planned marketing
services, launching in early 2020,” notes Bargmann.
The draw of STEM and engineering
As a nation, Germany’s science and engineering is world
renowned, and that is also reflected in statistics; 40 per cent
of Bildungsausländer were enrolled in the country’s engine-ering
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courses in 2018.
Regional universities can also offer great links to industry.
“The German way of hands-on-oriented studies with close
ties to the local industry and businesses is very well establis-hed
at smaller universities and in small towns, especially in
the field of engineering,” Schnabel explains. “In addition to
their very high quality and standards in academia, they often
provide better living circumstances than the universities in
enable insights into
company life a normal
internship cannot offer An employing organisation takes the student for half of
their three years of study, where they “apply theory to a real
work environment”. The programs are considered a step
beyond internships, as partner companies recruit and em-ploy
the students to spend three months of each semester
with the firm – all done without the need for a work permit.
“Their practical phases enable insights into company life
a normal internship cannot offer. Students make their first
career steps within their company right from the beginning of
their studies, not after graduation,” the spokesperson continu-es.
Although students require language skills for the majority
of courses, some programs are offered entirely in English.
Germany has experience of appealing to citizens of
other countries to bolster its workforce. Its Gastarbeiters
from Turkey in the 1960s and 1970s allowed thousands to
work in Germany – a continuing tradition. According to the
government, almost 42,000 international graduates have
been providing “significant and growing potential to meet
our skilled labour needs” in the last year.
University education is a pathway to migration, Bickl
reminds, and that is deliberate in the country’s internationa-lisation
strategy. “It is temporary residence which can lead
to permanent residence. You get a work visa for 18 months
following graduation, and if you manage to get a job on par
with your education you are allowed to stay on,” he says.
For those who consider rankings as the ultimate measure
of quality, German universities have also been progres-sing.
The 2020 edition of the Times Higher Education World
University Rankings saw 23 German universities in the top
200 – in 2009, there were only 10 universities from Germany.
Research institutes like Max Planck, Fraunhofer, Helmholtz
and Leibniz are also respected globally.
Numbers from overseas seem to correlate with ranking
success. Continental Europe’s most popular destination,
recently taking over France, is a popular refrain, or as the
German government says, the “most important non-English
speaking host country worldwide for international students”.
This global cohort is divided into Bildungsinländer –
foreign nationals who have studied at German high schools
– and Bildungsausländer – those who complete high school
abroad. Of the 375,000 students in 2017/18, around 282,000
China (36,915), India (17,294), Austria (11,130), Russia (10,795) and
Italy (8,908) were the top five sending countries to Germany in 2018