Thousands of international students risk losing their places at German universities due to the closure of German embassies and visa centres abroad. The German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD), an association of institutions of higher education in Germany and their student bodies, is seeking to reverse that. The organisation has directed a request to the German Ministry of Foreign Affairs to resume student visa application procedures for students from third countries, reported Schengen Visa Info News.
Thousands of international students are turning to social media to highlight their concerns under the #EducationIsNotTourism hashtag about the closure of German embassies and visa centres, claiming they risk losing their place at German universities if they fail to get their visa on time. Students are requesting that the German government take the necessary steps so they can get a student visa and commence their studies.
One Twitter user who goes by the moniker Student wrote, “How many times can we defer our admission? We are going to lose our admission, language certificates are going to expire. Our efforts.. our time.. our future.. How much more should we wait? We are under too much stress.” Malik Abdullah Hamid tweeted, “Honorable @GermanyinPAK @GermanyinKHI: Students with valid admission and presence letters should be given priority.”
Another Twitter user, Amitkumar Jain tweeted, “#EducationIsNotTourism @JuergenMorhard @GermanyinMumbai Our education is important. Please increase Visa slot for the month Sept and Oct for master students. We have to be in Germany before Oct end. Please accept our request. @VFSGlobal @GermanyDiplo.”
German universities gaining popularity among foreign students
I am a student from Iran. I have been accepted to a PhD program in Germany and have been waiting a long time for a visa appointment with @GermanyinIran. Please help us so that our voices are heard. We need your help. 🙏#EducationIsNotTourism pic.twitter.com/Ciw8XRdyDe
— Pari (@parijamshidi) September 18, 2020
In a Twitter thread, the DAAD said: “Dear all, we agree – #EducationIsNotTourism. The #DAAD has encouraged the federal foreign ministry to facilitate the visa application and immigration processes, and they have already reacted positively.” They said they have “the full support of the entire alliance of all science and research organisations in Germany”, adding that “hopefully we will see an improvement of the situation before long.”
In March, the German Ministry of Foreign Affairs ordered the closure of all its embassies, consulates and visa centres abroad due to the COVID-19 outbreak. This resulted in a screeching halt in interview appointments, visa issuance and all other procedures.
Germany is increasingly popular among international students. Studying in Germany said the country has reached its long-term goal of welcoming 350,000 international students in 2020 three years earlier in 2017.