During the 2022/23 winter semester, International enrolments in German universities marked an all-time high. Germany welcomed 367,578 students, showing a 5% hike from 2021/22 figures, as reported by the German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD). This marks the fifth successive year of such a rise in International enrolments in German institutions.
The 2022/23 winter semester saw a significant influx of first-time overseas students, reflecting the pre-pandemic numbers in 2019, at 117,900. When examined, universities made up 12% of the entire student populace. In postgraduate courses, this ratio rose to 23%, compared to 7% for undergraduate programs.
Origin nations and regions
India led the way, fueling the spike in International enrolments in German universities for 2022/23, overtaking China as the top contributor. Chinese student enrolment experienced a decline for the second consecutive year.
For the academic period of 2022/23, the primary countries sending students to Germany were:
- India: 42,578
- China: 39,137
- Syria: 15,563
- Austria: 14,762
- Turkey: 14,732
Ukrainian student numbers witnessed a sharp rise, increasing by 43% from the previous year, reaching nearly 9,100.
From a regional perspective, the top areas sending students were Asia/Pacific (32%), North Africa and the Middle East (19%), and Western Europe (17%). Interestingly, institutions from North Africa and the Middle East saw a remarkable 58% growth over five years.
Academic preferences of international students
Engineering programs in Germany attracted a considerable portion of International enrolments in German institutions. Over 40% of international students were enrolled in these programs. The country’s Applied Science universities also drew a significant number of students, observing a 140% increase in admissions over a decade.
The intersection of education and migration ambitions
In a joint study with the OECD, the DAAD explored how Germany compared with 15 other countries in retaining its international graduates. The data showed that nearly 45% of International enrolments in German universities chose to work in the country ten years after graduation.