German Students Abroad

The “Wissenschaft weltoffen kompakt” is a brochure published jointly by the DAAD (German Academic Exchange Service) and DZHW (German Centre for University, Science and Research). It is a collection of facts and figures about study and research in Germany.

Starting with this post, we will publish a series of articles about study and research in Germany, beginning with an overview of foreign students in Germany.

(See below for links to the series)

There are two categories of foreign students at German universities. The first group, the so-called “Bildungsinländer” have been living in Germany for quite some time and have even attended German schools before they began  their studies. The second group, the so-called “Bildungsausländer” predominately come to Germany solely for the purpose of study.

In 2015 Germany had nearly 236,000 Bildungsausländer and almost 86,000 Bildungsinländer.

Three-quarters of the Bildungsausländer study at universities while the remaining quarter are enrolled at technical colleges of higher education (Fachhochschulen). In the Bildungsinländer group less than two-thirds are at universities and one-third at Fachhochschulen.

Let’s have a look at the countries of origin for the Bildungsausländers:

  • Around 13% come from China
  • India and Russia make up 5% each.
  • Greece is last in the ranking with just 1,5% and
  • Australia/Oceania are not even mentioned with a percentage of just 0.3%

What qualification level are the Bildungsausländer studying for?

Around 82,000 Bildungsausländer complete their studies with a Bachelor’s degree. Almost 77,000 have a Master’s degree and 25,000 obtain a PhD while 28,000 leave Germany without any degree.

In which fields do the Bildungsausländer study?

Frontrunners are the engineers (ca 65,000) followed by jurisprudence/economic and social sciences (ca 57,000), maths and natural sciences (ca 42,000). Linguistics and cultural sciences have around 39,000 students, ca 13,000 study human medicine and health sciences while another 13,000 study arts, etc.

In 2015 the most popular federal states to study were:

  • North Rhine-Westfalia
  • Baden-Württemberg
  • Bavaria
  • Berlin and
  • Hessen.

In our next “Wissenschaft weltoffen kompakt” article the focus will be on German students abroad.

In addition to the analysis above please download the brochure “Wissenschaft weltoffen kompakt” in English.

Other posts in this series:

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