Germany’s career prospects and affordability key to international appeal


Germany’s career prospects and affordability key to international appeal

Career prospects and low costs are the main reasons international students choose to study in Germany, according to a new survey.

Church and Tenements on Frankfurter Romer in Frankfurt.Photo: Pexels.

97% of respondents in Germany reported they were satisfied with the academic standards of their program

The outcomes of Germany’s International Student Barometer 2022 are consistent with the global International Student Barometer, which points to career prospects as a key factor for international students when choosing where to study.

Of the final-year international students in Germany, 77% of those surveyed indicated that they felt prepared for their future career goals, against the global benchmark of 71%.

“A clear link to the world of work may be the most effective way to attract international students,” wrote the authors of a GATE-Germany report on the barometer.

While 97% of respondents in Germany reported they were satisfied with the academic standards of their programs, some raised concerns about the link between study and the practical application of academic knowledge in their careers after graduation.

“The current generation of students is looking for a direct return on investment from their study experience,” the report said.

Students in Germany rated the employability outcomes of their learning lower than the global benchmark (72% vs 81%), but only 1% lower than the European benchmark.

“German institutions need to focus on this area, but… there is also room for improvement at European institutions overall as far as employability is concerned, suggesting a Europe-wide need for greater attention to be paid to graduate outcomes,” authors wrote.

“The current generation of students is looking for a direct return on investment”

They recommended measures for higher education institutions, including offering more internship opportunities and inviting international alumni to give guest lectures.

Tatjana Erlewein-Paulsen, who works in the international office at Rosenheim Technical University of Applied Sciences, which scored higher than average for employability, said, “Our lecturers often have a practical background and work for local companies.

“As we have small groups and follow modern teaching methods with many discussions, our international students are involved and integrated into the classes from the beginning of their studies until the end.

“Besides intercultural training and language classes offered by our career and language centre, our professor-student ratio is the secret to providing perfect advice and guidance on long-term job opportunities and careers advice from our academic staff.”

Students’ rating of how welcome they felt upon arrival in Germany improved since the last survey in 2018. Germany also stood out among European countries for the relatively low cost of living and affordability of accommodation, outperforming the European barometer by 19% for satisfaction with living costs.

But the authors raised concerns that international students may associate low costs with low quality.

“For Germany, it is about finding the right balance in communicating the fact that the country offers high-quality and for the most part state-financed education coupled with low living costs,” they wrote.

Some areas remained lower than the global benchmark. In particular, authors noted the need for improvement in support services, including careers guidance, at higher education institutions. These received an 84% satisfaction rating, 6% lower than the global benchmark.

“By addressing the issues highlighted in the report, higher education institutions in Germany will be able to continue to attract (and retain) talented international students while providing them with a high-quality educational experience,” the report concluded.

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