There has been a record growth in the number of Indians studying in Germany for the year 2014-15. There are 11,860 Indian students enrolled in German universities, a massive increase of 23 per cent over the figures of the previous year. Indians now form the second-largest group of international students in German universities, after the Chinese.
The fact that Germany has opened its doors to skilled professionals is also an important consideration for many Indian students. “Germany has established itself as a destination for quality education amongst Indian students. The exceptional exposure that students get to the industry while still pursuing their studies is seen as a tremendous value addition by Indian students,” said Heike Mock, director, DAAD (German academic exchange service) regional office, New Delhi.
Science, technology, engineering and maths (STEM) are the subjects of choice for Indian students going to Germany, with 84 per cent of them opting for these streams. Over the past years German universities have strategically developed study programmes that appeal to international students. English has largely come to be accepted as the language of research in subject fields that Indian scholars opt for.
“German universities have bilateral cooperation with numerous Indian institutions. German organisations such as the DAAD facilitate these tieups by means of excellent mobility funding schemes, some of which are launched together with Indian bodies such as the department of science and technology (GoI) and University Grants Commission. It is evident by the success of these programmes that not only is Germany a top destination for Indian students, but German institutions also look upon India as a partner with great potential in research,” Mock added.
Madhuri Sathyanarayana Rao, who moved to Germany for her master’s degree in life sciences in 2013, finds many advantages there. The low or no tuition fee, high quality of education, noteworthy contributions to scientific and technological progress, and student-friendly professors top the list for her. “In countries like the UK and USA, students can easily adjust due to knowledge of English and are never out of their comfort zone. But here, because of the language challenge, students learn to truly integrate themselves in a foreign land,” said Rao.
Vikas Shabadi, an engineering student from Bengaluru, chose Germany because he participated in a summer fellowship programme in 2009 during his graduation. He went to Germany for an integrated master+ Ph.D. programme which he is now finishing at the Technische Universität Darmstadt.
“The most important reason that is drawing Indian students to Germany is the internationalisation drive of the universities and opening up of the German job market. Most graduate-level courses are now taught only in English, catering to an international student audience, and employers are more open to accepting a highly skilled international workforce,” said Shabadi.
Another reason, according to him, is that most reputed universities in Germany have no tuition fee, even for international students. “This is a big plus when compared to other popular study destinations like the US and UK. Also, there are great scholarship programmes available and funding possibilities for quite a large number of international students,” he said.
The large job market, especially in technical fields such as electrical science, computers and IT, mechanical and machine engineering and chemical and materials is also a big draw for him. “A student visa allows you to take up small jobs in parallel with your studies. Further, students are also given a one-and-a-half year job search window post their graduation. Work visas like the EU Blue Card are very good options too,” he said.
Like many other universities in Germany, the Technische Universitat Munchen (TUM), too, has seen a big increase in the number of Indian students. “There has been a constant increase in the numbers of Indian students. We currently have 435 (summer semester 2015) Indian students enrolled in our study programmes, said Hanna Kriebel from the international centre of TUM in Mumbai.
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Germany scores high for students; record growth in Indians studying in Germany for 2014-15
Posted on September 28, 2015