Students going abroad for higher education have been changing considerably, more in an unpredictable manner for the past few years. In a recent development, Germany has gained popularity to climb up to the fourth position in the list of preferred host countries, upstaging France. According to a recent report released from the German Academic Exchange Service, DAAD, Germany’s most popular source countries are China with 13% and India with 7% of the international pool.
In 2019, 40,000 students from China had enrolled in the educational institutes in Germany, while India noted 20,600 students, followed by Syria (13,000), Austria (11,500) and Russia (10,500).
Even during the coronavirus pandemic which has hindered many aspirants’ prospects from going abroad for higher studies resulting in a decline in the figures, Germany has seen considerable inflow of international students. It is also seen that the pandemic also played a part in the alteration of students’ mobility patterns on a global basis.
In a general sense, the figures have gone up in the recent year. For instance, if in 2001, it was 2.1 million students across the world who left home in pursuit of higher education, by 2019, the numbers rose to about 5.3 million. While Canada and China have become top draws during this period, the US’s hold has loosened, the UK has found it difficult to add big numbers and smaller Asian nations like Singapore have marched in for space.
Although the United States continues to be the largest host country for students wanting to pursue a foreign degree, the popularity has declined during the Trump administration with changes expected in the Biden Presidency. UK and China occupies the third and fourth position according to the UNESCO 2019 data. In the coming years we can expect to see a change in the international education providers with preference given to student friendly countries providing high quality education at a lower cost and lesser visa restrictions along with opportunities to work and better living quality. Most importantly the emergence of Asian regions as education providers and not just source countries is also a welcoming development in this field.