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Internationalization of Higher Education – Foreign Students in Germany – German Students Abroad

Isserstedt, W.; Link, J.: Internationalization of Higher Education - Foreign Students in Germany - German Students Abroad. Results of the 18th Social Survey of the Deutsches Studentenwerk (DSW) conducted by HIS Hochschul-Informations-System, BMBF, 2008.

Since 1997, the number of foreign students who come to Germany to study has increased every year – from 100,033 to 189,450. This places Germany among the leading academic destinations in the world, behind the United States and Great Britain. The present report is based on the survey conducted during the 2006 summer semester by the German Hochschul-Informations-System (HIS) of the economic and social situation of 1,870 foreign students (who came to Germany for study reasons) and 16,590 German students (including foreign students with a German education). This Social Survey of the National Association of German Student Services Organizations student poll that has been conducted every three years since 1951.

According to the recent study, students from countries in transition and Eastern European countries are particularly interested in studying in Germany. German students also see studying abroad as an attractive option. They are significantly more mobile than students from other leading industrialised nations. The number of German students abroad rose from 52,200 in 2000 to 75,800 in 2005. The results also show, however, that the international mobility of German students is linked to their social origins. The anticipated extra financial burden of studying in a foreign country is the main factor influencing their personal views on study-related stays abroad. This reflects the important role played by BAföG (Germany’s Federal Law on Support for Education and Training) in financing studies abroad.