According to a survey conducted by Studying-in-Germany.org portal, 85% of international students have admitted that COVID-19 has affected their plans to study in Germany. The survey asked more than 200.000 current and prospective international students whether their plans have been altered by the coronavirus crisis, where only 15% of the total responded negatively.
This could possibly translate to a potential decrease in international student numbers in Germany this year, a number that has lately reached a total of nearly 400,000 students, report the higher education experts at Studying-in-Germany.org. Taking into consideration that many scholarships and internship positions for the year 2020 have been cancelled due to the pandemic, thousands of students will be required to even wait until next year and re-apply for the same awards or internships.
The COVID-19 pandemic is happening during a time when international student hubs, like Germany, have been welcoming thousands of international students on a yearly basis. The higher education sector in Germany has undertaken safety measures against the spread of the disease, which have affected the plans of many international students wishing to commence their studies in Germany.
Recently, the DAAD has announced that Individual Scholarships for studying in Germany have been cancelled for the summer semester 2020. However, those who are holders of scholarships will continue to be supported by the award. The COVID-19 crisis has also impacted university summer courses for the year 2020, which have also been cancelled. Right now, Germany is primarily focusing on preventing a wide transmission of the virus and avoiding human consequences.
Travelling during the pandemic is not advised. This is also evident in the fact that many countries are restricting travel by closing their borders. Many students have also cancelled their Erasmus+ semesters and internships, and have returned to their home countries. Summer terms at German universities, in addition, have been delayed to April 20, 2020. To be prepared for a worst-case scenario, universities are advised to plan on switching their classes online.
International students in Germany are encouraged to practice social distancing as much as possible and keep in mind that hand washing and respiratory hygiene is crucial. German universities are continuously updating their websites and FAQs sections, to keep their students informed at all times. If the pandemic lasts longer than anticipated, the higher education sector must focus on developing online teaching platforms, which will prove to be beneficial in the long run.