The number of Indian students going to Germany for higher education has gone up this year. We look at the reasons for this trend.
“For students who are bent on cutting-edge research in their chosen field, Germany is the place to be,” says Sidharth Nair from Chennai now pursuing M.Sc in Power Engineering at the Technical University of Munich, Germany. Affordable tuition fee and the new visa rules are the two main reasons that more and more number of Indian students are opting to study in Germany, he says.
Germany tops the list of most internationalised countries in the higher education arena, says Franziska Lindhout, of the DAAD Information Centre, Chennai. Ms. Lindhout, says that the internationalisation strategy in the field of academics has been in force for over a decade in Germany. “The German government has pumped in 1.9 billion Euros for this process. Universities interested in this process, need to send proposals to the government and comply with the requirements for Centres of Excellence. So far, in Germany, 85 universities have been granted this status.” At these universities, international students can take up masters and PhD programme in English language.
Recent statistics shows that the number of Indian students in Germany is on the rise. At present there are 5,998 Indian students (as against 5,038 last year). “The trend is the result of the new Right to Residence law to welcome foreign students, scientists and researchers to Germany,” says Padmavathi Chandramouli, of DAAD, Chennai. Students can now stay back for 18 months and search for jobs, chances of which are high now. A post-study employment prospect is one of the important decisive factors for Indian students while selecting the study destination. The first Blue Card was issued during the month of August to an Indian IT professional, Navneet K. in Munich,.
Now it’s 18 months
After completing their studies, foreign students may remain in Germany for 18 months (earlier it was 12 months) and may work without time limits during this search phase. Once they get a job offer, they no longer require the consent of the German Federal Employment Agency. Also under certain circumstances, they will be eligible for a settlement permit, once they get their Blue Card.
The Blue Card provides expedited application processing for highly skilled non-European Union nationals seeking to live and work in Germany. To be eligible, they must have a confirmed job offer or valid work contract with a sponsoring employer, hold a university degree, and earn a minimum annual salary (44,800 to 34,944 Euro at present).
“We do not have the tradition of ranking system in Germany. We suggest that students choose the university based on their choice of subject and area of interest in research. All universities are uniformly excellent, therefore students could directly get in touch with the university and apply for courses,” Ms. Lindhout says. International and German students are treated at par. The fee structure is the same for all.
German universities also offer a number of scholarships for students with excellent academic track records. About 15 to 20 per cent of Indian students in Germany receive funding every year.