The number of international students in Germany reaches almost 400,000


Based on the latest official enrollment data, the number of international students attending German universities has increased to 393,579 as of Winter semester 2018/19, reports

Germany is building a strong standpoint in the international higher education competition as it is continuously attracting ambitious and talented students from all across the globe. Moreover, Germany proudly stands among the top five most popular study destinations in the world.

International enrollment has especially seen a vast expansion in recent years following the abolishment of international fees in 2014 and the latest data show no change in this trend.

According to the latest official statistics provided by the national statistical agency in Germany, as of 2018/19 Winter semester, there were 393,579 non-German students studying alongside their local peers at German universities. Compared to the number of all higher education enrollees in Germany it means overseas students account for a proportion of 14% of the total.

Most of these students were studying at universities (257,089) including 90,879 first-year students (Hoschule 1 semester) whereas another 122,625 students were studying at colleges (Fachschule).

Further on, the annual statistics reveal a slight gender disparity with male students sharing 53% (206,961) of the total numbers against 47% (186618) female students.

Engineering remains the most attractive subject to study for international students in Germany. As of 2018/19, German engineering schools counted a number of 32,373 non-German students. The number of male students in engineering-related degree courses is still higher compared to that of females, however, statistics reveal a slight increase of the later (from 8,965 to 9,140) between two successive winter semester, 2017/18 and 2018/19.

Law, business and social sciences are also very popular as there were 26,997 international students studying for a university degree in any of these subjects as of winter semester 2018/19. In contrast to engineering, in law, business and social sciences female students are the dominant group on the international student population. Given that, statistics show that last year 16,008 foreign female students were studying for either for law, business or social science degree in Germany.

Humanities, Mathematics and Natural sciences also appear to be attractive. Enrollment data collected as of 2018/19 winter semester show that there 11,688 international students seeking a degree in Humanities, 8,622 in Mathematics and Natural Sciences.

Destatis’ preliminary annual statistics show that the majority (59,723) of current first-year international students are studying at universities while the rest of 28,259 freshmen are enrolled in vocational training.

The highest number of international students was recorded in the states of Northern Rhine-Westphalia and Bavaria. Statistics show that last year 12,882 foreign students commenced their studies in Northern Rhine-Westphalia while another 10,472 students enrolled in Bavarian universities.

In many key global university rankings, German universities stand alongside the best in the world. On one hand, there are low or no international fees applied at all and on the other, the cost of living in Germany for international students is very affordable. These along with many other reasons make studying in Germany a perfect value for money.

Learn more about why international students choose Germany as their study destination.

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