What are the reasons that attract young people to study abroad or in Germany? The German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD) surveyed around 120,000 German and international students in its "Benchmark In-ternational University" (BintHo) study. For students from abroad, the good job prospects in Germany after graduation are decisive, while for German students, personal development and cultural interest are the focus of their stay abroad.
"The BintHo study is the largest survey in Germany on student mobility. It is an important instrument for German universities to monitor their internationali-zation activities. The current findings show that Germany is an extremely attractive place to study and that the German labour market is very attractive to international students, and that students from all over the world are very satisfied with their German universities," said DAAD President Prof. Dr Joybrato Mukherjee.
Attractive Study Programmes and Good Job Opportunities
According to the BintHo study, Germany was the first choice for their study abroad for more than three quarters of the international students surveyed (76 percent). The reasons for studying in Germany were an attractive range of university courses and good study conditions (91 percent), the international reputation of German degrees (88 percent) and good career prospects after graduation (81 percent).
Half of the international students were enrolled in English-only degree programmes, only a good quarter studied exclusively in German. However, there were clear differences depending on the type of degree: two-thirds of Master's students studied in English, and only 27 percent of Bachelor's students. German universities are well received by students: The majority of the international students surveyed (82 percent) would recommend their current university to others. More than 60 percent want to stay in Germany after graduation.
Personality development and cultural interest are mobility drivers
The most important motives for a stay abroad among German students were personal development (75 per cent), cultural interest (64 per cent) and the desire to gain new experiences in the host country outside the university (59 per cent). For 58 per cent, the focus was on improving their language skills. The biggest challenges during the stay abroad were finding accommodation (26 per cent) and COVID-related restrictions on planned activities (22 per cent). According to the survey, teachers at universities are important sources of inspiration for international mobility: almost three quarters of the students said that the teachers included their own experience abroad in their teaching.
Welcome culture and desire for more international students
The BintHo survey also revealed gaps in the welcome culture: around one tenth of the international students surveyed (12 percent) felt they had been affected by discrimination in Germany. The available data does not allow for an evaluation of the location of the experience or a regional classification. The DAAD will therefore take up this topic again in the next BintHo survey in the coming winter semester and examine it in more detail. At the same time, the study showed that around 38 percent of German students would like to have more international fellow students at their university, while just two percent would prefer fewer international fellow students.
Benchmark International University" study (BintHo)
For the BintHo study, the DAAD surveyed a total of 117,270 students at 74 German universities. It is one of the largest student surveys in Germany and the only student survey specifically on the topic of student mobility. 86,348 students with German university entrance qualifications and 13,871 international students (with foreign citizenship and foreign university entrance qualifica-tions) took part in the survey.
The next BintHo survey is planned for the winter semester 2023/2024.