For members


Foreign students in Germany: why they come and if they plan to stay

Many of the world’s best and brightest come to Germany to study - but why? A study seen exclusively by The Local took a deeper look at the profile of the country's prospective international students.

Foreign students in Germany: why they come and if they plan to stay
Internationals come from far and wide to study in Germany - particularly because of the low costs. Photo: DPA

The survey by online site Studying-in-Germany of over 4,000 prospective students to Germany found that the decision to seek higher education in Deutschland most often comes down to money. 

35.3 percent of respondents said that they came to Germany for the low-to-no cost of studying at Germany’s universities, as opposed to spending thousands of dollars in their home country.
Low fees are the reason 35.3 percent of international students chose Germany for the academic home. Photo: Studying-in-Germany
Almost as high on the list of deciding factors is Germany’s renowned academic reputation, which 29.3 percent of prospective students claimed as their chief reason for picking a uni in the Bundesrepublik. 
Additional factors listed in the report were the wide availability of English-language programmes at 20.4 percent, and the beauty of Germany’s landscape at 15.1 percent. 
Studying-in-Germany founder Besart Bajrami told The Local Germany that it comes as no surprise that Germany is a hotspot for students: “Germany is always an ideal destination for young people, and not just for studying purposes, but also for leisure, travelling and working.”
Concerning their long term plans after a German education, a whopping 69.2 percent of respondents said that they planned to look for a job in Germany in order to stay beyond their graduation. 
Almost 70% of international students plan to live in Germany for a longer time, which the study believes is due to higher job prospects. Photo: Studying-in-Germany
This is compared to 16.5 percent that said they plan to go to their home countries when their studies are complete and 14.3 percent who will take some off-time to vacation before ultimately heading home. 
According to Bajrami, international students have a lot to gain from their time in Germany. “Students from developing countries in Asia and Europe see staying in Germany as a solution to a more secure financial well-being because of its thriving economy, job market, and excellent quality of life.”
This international influx could do wonders for the German economy too, he claimed. “Germany needs young and skilled workers to keep its economy going”, Bajrami said, adding that, “international students bring a lot of economic benefits to Germany during their studies as consumers and part time workers.”
The study also looked into how students from abroad expected to finance their stay in Germany. It found that the majority will be hitting the pavement in hopes of a part time job alongside their studies. 
37.5 percent of prospective students plan to work while studying in Germany, an effect that founder Bajrami thinks benefits Germany. Photo: Studying in Germany
37.5 percent of prospective students surveyed would work part time along with their school responsibilities, while 29 percent would be able to support themselves from personal funds and 24.3 percent would live off of scholarships.
Only 9.2 percent planned to take out student loans – a stark contrast compared to nearly 70% of US college students in 2017.
Bajrami's outlook for these prospective international students is quite positive. For those from abroad who receive their German degree, he believes Germany has “a lot of demand and available jobs for qualified international students in fields such as Technology, Medicine, Science, and Engineering.”

Member comments

Log in here to leave a comment.
Become a Member to leave a comment.
For members


Inquiry calls for free after-school care for 6-9 year-olds in Sweden

Children between ages 6-9 years should be allowed admittance to after-school recreation centers free of charge, according to a report submitted to Sweden’s Minister of Education Lotta Edholm (L).

Inquiry calls for free after-school care for 6-9 year-olds in Sweden

“If this reform is implemented, after-school recreation centers will be accessible to the children who may have the greatest need for the activities,” said Kerstin Andersson, who was appointed to lead a government inquiry into expanding access to after-school recreation by the former Social Democrat government. 

More than half a million primary- and middle-school-aged children spend a large part of their school days and holidays in after-school centres.

But the right to after-school care is not freely available to all children. In most municipalities, it is conditional on the parent’s occupational status of working or studying. Thus, attendance varies and is significantly lower in areas where unemployment is high and family finances weak.

In this context, the previous government formally began to inquire into expanding rights to leisure. The report was recently handed over to Sweden’s education minister, Lotta Edholm, on Monday.

Andersson proposed that after-school activities should be made available free of charge to all children between the ages of six and nine in the same way that preschool has been for children between the ages of three and five. This would mean that children whose parents are unemployed, on parental leave or long-term sick leave will no longer be excluded. 

“The biggest benefit is that after-school recreation centres will be made available to all children,” Andersson said. “Today, participation is highest in areas with very good conditions, while it is lower in sparsely populated areas and in areas with socio-economic challenges.” 

Enforcing this proposal could cause a need for about 10,200 more places in after-school centre, would cost the state just over half a billion kronor a year, and would require more adults to work in after-school centres. 

Andersson recommends recruiting staff more broadly, and not insisting that so many staff are specialised after-school activities teachers, or fritidspedagod

“The Education Act states that qualified teachers are responsible for teaching, but that other staff may participate,” Andersson said. “This is sometimes interpreted as meaning that other staff may be used, but preferably not’. We propose that recognition be given to so-called ‘other staff’, and that they should be given a clear role in the work.”

She suggested that people who have studied in the “children’s teaching and recreational programmes” at gymnasium level,  people who have studied recreational training, and social educators might be used. 

“People trained to work with children can contribute with many different skills. Right now, it might be an uncertain work situation for many who work for a few months while the employer is looking for qualified teachers”, Andersson said.