After the USA and Great Britain, Germany currently is the third most significant host country for international students. The number of foreign students in Germany has risen from 7.9% in winter semester 1995/1996 to more than 12% in winter semester 2015/2016 with about 339,000 foreign students.
Foreign students in Germany preferred subjects like engineering (25%), language and cultural studies (24%), mathematics / natural sciences (19%) as well as law, business and economics (16%). 77% were enrolled at traditional universities, 23% at universities of applied sciences (as for summer semester 2012, details).
Germany′s higher education institutions already maintain more than 20,000 partnerships with foreign universities and are extending these contacts continously. Additional efforts have been spent to make study opportunities offered in Germany even more appealing to qualified foreign students. For example, there are selected German study programs abroad in cooperation with foreign partner universities. It enables the programs to reach students who do not want or are unable to leave their home countries.
The Higher-Education Compass provides a comprehensive list of international cooperation agreements along with various search options: www.hochschulkompass.de/en/partnerships.html
The International summer university programs offered by several institutions in Germany frequently provide a good way for students from abroad to start studying here. The German and/or English-instructed summer schools and summer courses have been specially designed for foreign students. They enable students to get to know Germany before taking up full-time studies here. Credit points (ECTS) are awarded for many of these courses. You can find a list of courses at: www.daad.de/deutschland/studienangebote/sommerkurse/en/
Moreover, the award of internationally-recognized academic degrees (bachelor and master) encourages foreign students to attain an academic degree in Germany. Students can graduate with a bachelor or master degree in more than 17,000 undergraduate and graduate programs available at traditional universities, universities of applied sciences, and at other institutions offering higher education. More information
If you already hold a bachelor degree, you can apply for a (post)graduate study program. Although (post)graduate degree programs still are offered mainly by the traditional universities, universities of applied sciences in Germany also increasingly include such programs in their catalogues. Most of these studies end with a master degree. Those can be found at: www.higher-education-compass.de.
Degree programs with an international orientation specifically designed to meet the needs and interests of foreign students provide a specialist education and training in the respective subject, intensive guidance counseling, supervision for students, the use of a foreign language as the language of instruction and study, and intensive international cooperation as well as internationally-recognized bachelor and master degrees.
In most cases, these programs involve completion of a study segment abroad and are open to German and foreign nationals alike. The International Degree Programs offered by about 200 universities to which generally an equal percentage of foreign students and students from Germany are admitted are of particular interest. Although there are a few exceptions, English is largely or exclusively the language of instruction. This means that you do not have to pass a German language test to be admitted to these programs. You will acquire the German language skills you need concurrently with your academic studies. You can search for courses at: www.daad.de/deutschland/studienangebote/international-programs/en/
- DAAD - German Academic Exchange Service: www.daad.de/en
- Detailed information about international bachelor, master and doctoral programs in Germany: www.daad.de/international-programmes
- Research in Germany: www.research-in-germany.org
"The German research Landscape"
- Information about admission to studies at higher-education institutions in Germany: www.daad.de/admission
- You can find the addresses of the universities’ international offices at www.higher-education-compass.de (in the section "Higher-Education Institutions")
- Information for refugees: abi>> "Start in Germany" and www.study-in.de/refugees