An increase of 70% has been witnessed in enrolment of Indian students at German education institutions since the academic year 2008, according to the German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD). There were a total of 5998 Indians studying in the country last year, up from 5038 in 2010/11. The number of total international students as whole went up from 244,776 in 2009-2010 to 252,032 in 2010-2011.
Christiane Schlottmann, director, DAAD, regional office in New Delhi, confirms that there has been a change in student mobility worldwide in recent years. Besides the conventional destinations of higher education, students are seeking newer ones in Europe as well as in Asia.
According to Schlottmann, “Stringent visa regulations, limited or non-existent employment opportunities in the host country after graduation and social threats in the traditionally popular destinations are some of the factors behind the changing trend.”
The implementation of the EU Blue Card is believed to be a key determinant. Besides opening up unlimited job opportunities, the EU Blue Card provides residence permit to grant foreign graduates of German universities unrestricted access to the job market. Other reasons that make Germany the most popular destination for international students in Europe include, over 1000 international degree programmes (IDP) taught in English, highly subsidised tuition fees, quality of education, scholarships and above all, social security.
Germany bags the first position beating Australia, the United Kingdom and China, as reported by a recent British Council survey. “Even during the recent world economic recession, Germany has sustained as the economic superpower, thereby providing easy access to international job market. The adoption of the EU Blue Card as a new work and residence permit has already started showing positive results and I believe it will further bolster this trend,” said Schlottmann.