Despite the United Kingdom being the first port of call for many students due to its universities often ranking as some of the best in the world – along with the US – the rankings of 30 European universities showed Germany to be way ahead of its neighbours for international students.
The UK secured second place with a score of 75.8, with France in third at 68.6, not quite matching Germany’s impressive 80.7 score.
— Study.EU (@wwwStudyEU) February 20, 2018
So why is Germany so popular?
Highly ranked universities
While Germany’s institutions don’t quite have the reputation of the UK’s, Study.EU CEO Gerrit Blöss told The Local many German universities are ranked highly in international rankings for various reasons.
The UK does well in “typical” rankings but German universities tend to receive much higher scores for quality of teaching.
It’s official. Sometime earlier this year, #Germany became one of the first major destinations to reach its ambitious growth target for international #enrolment https://t.co/Tg9agp5OA7 #foreignstudents #studium #highereducation
— ICEF Monitor (@icefmonitor) December 12, 2017
Additionally, as almost all courses are offered in English, Germany is stealing students who previously would have headed to the UK and Ireland for their studies.
Education is cheap
“Germany’s offer of mostly tuition-free, world-class universities remains hard to outrank,” Study.EU said.
At state-run universities, no student, domestic or international, has to pay tuition fees.
In 2014, #Germany's 16 states abolished tuition fees for undergraduate students at all public universities. This means that currently both domestic & int'l undergrads at public universities can study for free, w/just a small fee to cover administration/other costs per semester. pic.twitter.com/yEb8AazG61
— German Embassy (@GermanyinUSA) February 20, 2018
The UK unsurprisingly comes in last for affordability due to high living costs and sky-rocketing tuition fees.
Students can continue to live in the country after studying
The final ranking category looked at international graduates’ life and career prospects with Germany ranking “really well” according to Blöss. However, he acknowledged there is “always room for improvement.”
Graduates are able to remain in the country for up to 18 months on a “residence permit” after they complete their studies – far longer than the UK where students from outside the EU are usually unable to stay for longer than a few short months.
The rankings considered graduates who wished to stay in Germany as well as those who wished to move back home – the majority of whom come from Asia and Africa, The Local notes.
Germany remains ‘best country for international students,’ above UK and France!!!30 European countries were ranked in the study according to three categories: education, costs, and life and career!!!https://t.co/z3CT6aziiK
— EN Global Education Ltd (@E_N_Education) February 22, 2018
Universities are working with graduates to increase employability in Germany
German universities are aware more needs to be done to integrate international students into the job market and as a result, are working on strategies to ease this process.
Currently, 12 percent of Germany’s students are foreign, however many of them do not speak German.
Blöss claimed if more graduates were able to speak the local language, it would increase their likelihood of gaining employment in the German job market. Both universities and the students themselves have a role to play in that aspect.