Germany beckons Indian students

germany-studentsDestination Germany. Indian students seem undaunted by language barriers as they fly to the West European economic dynamo in staggering numbers to pursue higher education. There has been 114% rise in the number of Indian students going to Germany since 2008, according to the latest figure released by the regional office of the German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD).

Of these students, around 48% of the students picked engineering courses,   while around 19.8% picket mathematic and natural sciences. Social science, law, and economics were picked by 9.4%, while information technology attracted 13.8%.

The large number of students who choose engineering courses is no coincidence. Franziska Lindhout, director of the DAAD Information Centre in Chennai, says Germany encourages Indian students to sign up for masters and research in engineering as not many Germans show an interest in the discipline. “It’s least taken up by those in Germany, and the country needs students in these areas, so Germany is interested in cooperation with Indian technical higher educational institutions,” she said.

Over the last few years, Germany has tried to recreate itself as an education hub by offering a slew of courses in English and easing visa restriction on international students, making it easier for them find jobs after their studies. As a result the number of Indian students enrolled has increased from 3,516 in the 2008-09 academic year to 7,532 in 2012-13.

When Chancellor Angela Merkel visited India on May 31, 2011 four important MoUs in the field of vocational education and science and technology were signed between the two countries.

Education is a sturdy pillar of the burgeoning India-German partnership.  As of 2013, 800 German students were studying or doing their internships in India. The Indian government also funds several rotating chairs of Indian studies in German universities since the 2003 visit to Germany by former prime minister Atal Behari Vajpayee.

English speaking countries like US, UK, Australia and Canada, however, continue to be favoured destinations for Indian students.
Germany has also made efforts to bring more Indians into their campuses. Since 2009, 46 new co-operation projects have been forged between Indian and German universities. India provides Germany the second largest contingent of international students, the largest come from China.

German institutes have signed co-operation agreements with leading Indian institution including IITs, IIMs, the department of science and technology and the University Grants Commission. As of 2014, 1,324 Indian students and 761 German students have been part of the DAAD exchange programme.

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