GERMANY’S GENEROUS OFFER
master’s courses are taught
in English, undergraduate
courses are not “
In 2017, DAAD’s Integra program enrolled 10,404 refu-gees,
up 53 per cent from the previous year. By the end of
2019 more than 30,000 refugees will have participated at
German universities as part of the refugee program, while
universities have started their own refugee courses. Ac-cording
to estimates, between 20,000-25,000 refugees have
been enrolled in a regular BA or MA degree program so far.
Germany’s foreign minister Heiko Maas has advocated for
refugees to access education, noting at 2019’s World Refu-gee
Day that only one per cent of young refugees world-wide
are students, compared with 36 per cent of all young
people. “I cannot even begin to imagine how many talented
young people there are among the remaining 99 per cent,
how much potential there is which just has to be nurtured,”
he said at the time.
Universities are also taking note of this. The Weltoffene
Hochschule campaign led by HRK has been backing the
cause for international education across German campuses.
With strong government support and continued enthusiasm
from universities, the country is poised to stride ahead as
the international education strongman of Europe.
ISSUE #24 | THE PIE REVIEW | 15
ZEIT, Germany’s leading weekly
newspaper, produces specialist
publications focused on studying
and working in Germany - they
are distributed via offices of
DAAD, Goethe-Institut, and the
Federal Foreign Office.
Navigating in the German environment
Counsellors at MyGermanUniversity hear two key queries
from prospective students, relates Bargmann. Number
one is how to find the best program. With more than 400
universities, and approximately 20,000 degree programs, this
question is more than justified, he says. The second question
revolves around the application process, while Uni-Assist is
a headache for many applicants, he reports.
A lack of German language skills have left staff and
students unable to communicate in some situations too, ac-cording
to anecdotal reports. “If you look at our neighbour
in the Netherlands, it is internationalising its universities by
offering everything in English,” Ziegele states. While they
may not expect visiting students to learn Dutch, in Germany
most international students are more or less expected to
learn German, he says. This is especially true in the bachelor
field. Although many master’s courses are taught in English,
undergraduate courses are not.
Language schools such as BWS Germanlingua in Munich
offer pathway programs – around nine per cent of its
students enrol on the course. “Almost all of them come
from Latin America such as Colombia, Bolivia, Peru and
Ecuador,” the school director Nico Kögl tells The PIE Review.
“This interest has been increasing quite a lot over the last
three to four years. The only difficulty for this program is the
matter with the visa sometimes since students need to have
a study approval by Uni Assist or a university directly and
their high school diplomas/their grades are not always good
enough for a certain major.”
Universities also deliver targeted education products to
service the university-bound student. Studienkollegs are a
sort of pathway, or preparatory foundation course, within a
university but with a sole mission to prepare students from
abroad for university entrance, both academically and in
terms of language. Navitas also announced it would esta-blish
a Lancaster University campus in Leipzig in 2019.
One area in which German universities have found additio-nal
success over recent years has been the integration of
refugees. Of the top eight countries of origin for asylum
seekers – Syria, Afghanistan, Iraq, Nigeria, Eritrea, Iran,
Pakistan and Somalia – 24,000 were at German universities
in 2018, according to government statistics.