Special Correspondent

CHENNAI: The German government is keen on scaling up student intake from India at its Universities, Petersohn-Barnhusen, Vice-Consul, German Consulate in Chennai, said on Friday.

Addressing students aspiring to do higher studies in Germany, Ms. Barnhusen pointed out that the number of Indian students reaching Germany for various Bachelor’s, Master’s and Post Doctoral research programmes had steadily grown to an average of about 500 candidates a year.

Noting that the fact that many potential candidates standing outside the lecture hall reflected the keen interest in Germany, Ms. Barnhusen assured them that the “feelings are mutual” as her government too was looking for quality students from India.

The seminar on “German Student Visa Procedures” was hosted by the German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD) and the Goethe Institut in Chennai. According to the Vice-Consul, only 9 per cent of visa applications were turned down for reasons primarily regarding failure to adhere to the rather stringent criteria laid down by the Immigration Office in Germany for issuing a visa.

It was equally remarkable that there had not been a single case of deportation of an Indian student for rendering false information to gain a visa, she said.

Students were urged to apply well in advance of the September-October intake season as it took about six to eight weeks for various stages of visa processing to be completed by Germany’s Immigration Office.

It would take about 634 euros a month to cover a student’s living expenses and the candidate would have to convince the Consulate interviewers about his or her ability to take care of the expenses for the first year of study through sponsors in India or in Germany.

Ms. Barnhusen’s parting advice to students dreaming of learning in a German University was to begin the realisation process by having a good look at the home page of the Consulate in Chennai.

Scholarship details

Stefan Balzter, DAAD Information Center in Chennai, gave details of various scholarship options for students.