New findings suggest that up to 84% of students from Europian Union (EU) countries would “definitely not” study in the UK if they are made to pay increased fees as international students. Instead, they’re focusing their attention on studying in Germany, France and the Netherlands.
This survey of over 2,000 students took place after the UK government decided to end home fee status for EU, other European Economic Area (EEA) and Swiss nationals. EU students will pay the same fees as other international students post-Brexit.
Germany is a popular education hub in Europe. So, it is unsurprisingly tapped as an alternative destination for EU students turning away from the UK.
EU nationals still get to enjoy free tuition at German universities. Source: Miguel Medina/AFP
Last year, Germany recorded a 58% increase in international students compared to just a decade ago. It also exceeded its target of 350,000 international student enrollments by 2020 — three years ahead of time.
Besides its low-cost and high-standards in their programmes, students are also attracted to its position as an economic and industrial powerhouse within the continent.
Here are three reasons EU students are looking to study in Germany.
EU students do not pay tuition fees
Before 2016, international students from all over the world could study in Germany for free. Tuition fees have since been introduced for non-EU students. However, EU students still get to study for free in Germany.
“Most higher education institutions in Europe are publicly funded. While I can’t say there will be no budgetary consequences [from COVID-19], they are not there immediately,” Michael Gaebel, Director of Higher Education Policy at the European University Association, explained to DW.
On top of that, students can progress at their own pace in Germany.
Head of Infectiology Marylyn Addo is studying the Ebola drug Remdesivir as a potential treatment for COVID-19 patients at the University Hospital Eppendorf. Germany needs more skilled healthcare workers in the near future. Source: Ulrich Perrey/POOL/AFP
Quick, effective response to COVID-19
Thanks to speedy and widespread testing, and an efficient health care system, Germany has recorded high recovery rates and few deaths from COVID-19.
There are also financial aid options for international students. For example, international students in one of their first 10 semesters can apply for a loan from the state development bank KfW. It is interest-free until March 2021.
The Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF) also channelled 100 million euros into local student services emergency funds.
Millions of jobs available after study in Germany
Students here benefit from a dual-study programme that combines classroom learning with vocational training. This makes graduates highly employable not just in Germany, but around the world.
It’s also worth noting that international students can work 120 full days or 240 half-days per year to help support their living expenses. Due to plentiful opportunities and bright prospects, many graduates choose to continue their careers in Germany.
Germany needs 1.2 million skilled workers, mostly for STEM roles.
Who is eligible, you ask? Well, anyone with a degree or professional training recognised in the country. This qualifies all international students with local credentials.
Although German immigration is taking a more inclusive approach, EU nationals benefit from the enduring result of the now-defunct rules prioritising them over other applicants.
Simply put, it is easier for EU nationals to find a job in Germany.