education-in-germanyBetter immigration rules and low cost of education big draw


There were 3,516 Indian students studying in Germany in 2008-09. Five years later in 2013-14, the number went up to 9,619, an increase of 200 per cent since the academic year 2008-09.


Data from German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD), one of the largest funding organisation in the world supporting the international exchange of students and scholars, showed that on a year-on-year basis there was a 25.6 per cent rise in Indian students in that country in 2012-13, compared to 2011-12.


Better immigration rules, that facilitate and enable foreign students to stay back and look for employment compared to other regions in Europe and the US, and the lower costs of education are the reasons for the rise in the Indian student population in Germany. Overseas education consultants said while US is still the most preferred destination for Indian students wanting to go abroad, Germany is fast catching up.


Unlimited career opportunities is one of the main reasons for Indian students going to Germany. DAAD said the German parliament has implemented an European Union (EU) Blue Card and a new unlimited work and residence permit to grant foreign graduates of German universities unrestricted access to the job market.


After obtaining a degree from Germany, one can stay there for up to 1.5 years to look for suitable employment. DAAD said this has already started showing positive results.


“In Germany, education is heavily subsidised by the state and, therefore, most of the institutions of higher education charge no or very little tuition fee – to the tune of euro 500 per semester,” said DAAD in response to queries sent. DAAD also offers a number of scholarships for students with excellent academic record.


Education consultants also agree. Rohan Ganeriwala, co-founder of Collegify, an overseas education consulting firm, said now institutes in Germany have both German and English course material in the curriculum, unlike earlier when a large portion of the course material would be in German language.


Indian students in Germany
 Year Number of Indian students % increase (YOY)
2008-09 3516
2009-10 4070 15.76
2010-11 5038 23.78
2011-12 5998 19.06
2012-13 7532 25.58
2013-14 9619 27.7
 Source: Deutscher Akademischer Austauschdienst German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD)

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Apart from the fact that it is easier for international students to stay back and find a job in Germany, Ganeriwala said Germany is promoting itself as an upcoming destination with an open economy, and that has attracted students.


For getting a student visa to Germany, Level 2 German language knowledge is required for post-graduate courses. However, this requirement is not necessary for undergraduate. DAAD said to apply for a student visa for Germany, students need to have confirmed admission to a German university and approximately euro 8,000 in a blocked account in a German bank, among other requirements.


DAAD said the most popular course among Indian students are the programmes in the STEM subject fields (science, technology, engineering and mathematics), followed by economics, law and social sciences. Further, Indian students make up for one of the largest foreign doctoral candidates in the country, just behind China.


Moreover, knowing German is not mandatory. Vinayak Kamat, director, GeeBee Education, said there are many PhDs and few masters courses that do not need German language proficiency. He said the cost of education is very low, limited only to living cost.


Kamat said since German brands like Volkswagen and BMW are thriving in India, the visibility of German education has increased.



Courtsey: Buisiness Standard, Sept. 17th 2014.

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