Project Atlas | Germany | German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD)

About Germany

Germany is a major player in the global higher education marketplace, hosting over 235,000 international students in 2014/2015. China, India and Russia are the leading places of origin of in-bound international students in Germany.

Fast Facts: Germany

  • In 2014/15, Germany hosted over 235,000 international students.
  • The top five places of origin of international students in 2014/15 were China, India, Russia, Austria, and France.
  • The top destinations for German students in 2012 were Austria, the Netherlands, Switzerland, the United Kingdom and the United States.

Source: DAAD


Inbound/International Student: The Federal Statistical Office, Germany uses a combination of citizenship and prior country of education for defining their two international student categories:

  1. Bildungsauslaender (non-resident students): Students with a foreign citizenship who gained their higher education entrance qualification at a foreign school (including German schools abroad) and/or complemented their foreign school qualifications by attending a German Studienkolleg (preparatory course for higher education admission). Student visa and length of stay are not relevant.
  2. Bildungsinlaender (non-citizen students): Students with a foreign citizenship who gained their higher education entrance qualification or completed their secondary level education in Germany school or who passed a Gifted Students Test (Begabtenprüfung) or an Aptitude Test (Eignungsprüfung) - not only at Colleges of art and music - in Germany.

Note that prior to 2014/15, all International Students in Germany data reflect both Bildungsauslaender and Bildungsinlaender student enrollments.

Foreign Student: Please see Bildungsinlaender definition.

Outbound Student: German students enrolled at a higher education institution in another country.

Higher Education Institution (HEI): The Federal Statistical Office, Germany documents all German higher education institutions that are recognized by the law of the state in which they are located, regardless of how they are funded (public or private institutions). HEIs serve to cultivate and develop science and art through research, teaching and studies. They prepare students for professions which require the formation and application of academic and scientific knowledge and methods or the ability to engage in artistic creativity.

Public HEI: Higher education institutions with a public funding body.

Private HEI: Higher education institutions with a private funding body (including church-funding bodies).

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