Dr. Katja Lasch, Head of the New Delhi DAAD office, explains why more and more Indian students are choosing to study in Germany.
Dr. Lasch, Indians now make up the second largest group of foreign students at German universities. What makes Germany so appeal to them?
Many factors influence the decision to study abroad. Germany is attractive for Indian students because they are able to complete their course of studies there entirely in English – especially when it comes to a Master’s or PhD programme. Indian students can currently choose from over 1,500 Bachelor’s and Master’s programmes taught in English. A further plus is the high percentage of practical content in the study courses and, most notably in the realm of technical courses of study, collaboration with the business world. In addition, word has by now gotten around that German state universities do not charge tuition fees. Studying in Germany is thus more cost-effective compared to other countries such as Great Britain and the US, making it easier for families to finance. In addition, there are numerous scholarships which Indian students may apply for. And last but not least, the DAAD plays an important role by providing information on Germany as a place of study and research. We held 513 events in the year 2019 alone and communicated directly with 42,515 prospective students.
Indian students definitely take their cue from rankings.
Are certain preferences for example for subject groups or places of study becoming apparent? And if so: Why?
A large number of Indian students and doctoral candidates is currently opting for engineering or natural sciences courses. “Engineering made in Germany” remains a calling card and Germany is renowned for its high-quality vocational training in these specialist fields. The fact that these courses of study boast many Indian alumni surely also contributes to this trend. In terms of location, the large and well-known German cities Munich, Berlin and Stuttgart are in great demand. Furthermore, Indian students very definitely take their cue from rankings. Those German universities that place amongst the top slots in these rankings are very popular places for study. And the universities that have their own international offices in India and are thus able to advertise in the country and target possible applicants directly also have a locational advantage: for example the University of Cologne, the Technical University of Munich and FU Berlin.
Indian doctoral candidates also constitute the second largest group when it comes to PhD students. What do we know about what they do after their studies?
Unfortunately there has not as yet been a detailed study on the careers of Indians who successfully completed their undergrad and postgrad studies in Germany. Science is international nowadays and career paths are diverse. Not everyone returns to India. Many Indians opt for an international scientific or vocational career. However, in our work across India we meet academics at the universities and research institutions time and again who have obtained their doctorate or carried out research in Germany. We also notice that alumni of German universities and research institutions have very good career options in business and industry, especially when it comes to internationally oriented Indian as well as German companies in India.
More information: www.daad.de
Dr. Katja Lasch is the Head of the New Delhi office of the German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD). The DAAD is the largest funding organization for the international exchange of students and researchers world-wide.