Good job opportunities and affordable expenses make international students choose to study in Germany

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The findings of Germany’s International Student Barometer 2022 are in line with the global International Student Barometer, which emphasizes the significance of career prospects in international students’ decision-making process. Among final-year international students in Germany, 77% of those surveyed expressed confidence in their preparedness for future career goals, surpassing the global benchmark of 71%.

A GATE-Germany report on the barometer suggests that establishing a strong connection to the professional world is crucial for attracting international students. While 97% of respondents in Germany were satisfied with the academic standards of their programs, some raised concerns about the practical application of their knowledge in their post-graduation careers. The report highlights that the current generation of students seeks a direct return on investment from their studies.

Although German students rated the employability outcomes slightly lower than the global benchmark (72% vs. 81%), the difference was only 1% lower than the European benchmark. The authors recommend that German institutions focus on enhancing employability, while also emphasizing the need for improvement across European institutions. Suggestions include providing more internship opportunities and inviting international alumni for guest lectures. Tatjana Erlewein-Paulsen from Rosenheim Technical University of Applied Sciences, which scored above average for employability, explains, “Our lecturers often have practical backgrounds and work for local companies. Additionally, our small class sizes and modern teaching methods foster active discussions and ensure that our international students are engaged and integrated throughout their studies. Alongside intercultural training and language classes offered by our career and language center, our low professor-student ratio enables us to provide excellent advice and guidance on long-term job opportunities and careers.”

The survey also indicates that international students feel more welcomed upon arrival in Germany compared to the previous survey in 2018. Germany also outperforms European countries in terms of affordable living costs and accommodation, surpassing the European barometer by 19% in satisfaction with living costs.

However, the authors express concerns that international students may associate low costs with low quality. They stress the importance of striking a balance in communicating that Germany provides high-quality, mostly state-financed education alongside affordable living expenses. Some areas, such as support services and career guidance at higher education institutions, still fall below the global benchmark, receiving an 84% satisfaction rating, 6% lower than the global average. The report concludes that by addressing these concerns, German higher education institutions can continue to attract and retain talented international students while offering them a high-quality educational experience.

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