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International students praise Germany’s academic reputation and safety

The university consortium GATE-Germany, a joint initiative of the German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD) and the German Rectors' Conference (HRK), presented mid-August an overview of the results of two surveys—the “International Student Barometer” and the “Student Pulse”. Commissioned by GATE-Germany, both surveys aim to assess the current expectations and perceptions of foreign students with regard to their ongoing, planned or possible studies in Germany.

In keeping with precedent, the “International Student Barometer” administered surveys to almost 160 000 internationally mobile students worldwide, including nearly 17 000 foreign students at 46 German universities. Respondents were asked to provide their feedback on a variety of aspects related to their studies abroad. Meanwhile, an additional 14 000 internationally mobile students and graduates – mostly from non-European countries (such as China, India, Indonesia, Malaysia, Pakistan and the US) – who opted to study in places other than Germany, were polled about their perceptions of higher education opportunities in Germany (e.g. with regard to country’s safety for students, visa procedures, carreer perspectives, as well as education-related costs and overall quality of education) through the “Student Pulse 2011” survey.

The key findings of the surveys highlight Germany’s various comparative advantages on the global higher education market, including the country’s highly reputable education system and widely recognised academic degrees, relatively low tuition fees and a high level of personal safety in the country. Notably, Germany ranks fifth behind the UK, the US, Australia and Canada (surpassing France, New Zealand and Singapore) as a potential country of study, with business-related and engineering subjects being particularly attractive among the respondents. The third and final round of the survey, planned for this autumn, will focus on students’ perceptions of strengths and weaknesses of select German universities with regard to learning and living conditions, as well as the overall quality of support provided to them in the context of their studies and stay in Germany.

DAAD GATE-Germany – International Student Barometer