In the recent 5 years, enrollment of Indian students to German universities is up by 100%. Germany is emerging as a favoured higher education destination for increasing number of Indians. The number of Indian students' enrollment for higher education courses has seen a rise of 114% since 2008, according to the latest figures given by the regional office of the German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD).
The student enrollment has increased from 3,516 in the 2008-09 academic year to 7,532 in 2012-13. The most favoured destinations for Indian students are US, UK, Australia and Canada and is partly due to the absence of language barrier.
Germany, having the fifth largest Indian student population on campuses, has sought to bridge the gap by introducing courses in English. Also, Germany wants to ease visa norms to allow students to look for jobs there after completion of studies.
Around 48% of the Indian students in Germany chose engineering courses, followed by mathematics and natural science (19.8%). Information technology, law, economics and social sciences are the other sought after courses.
Franziska Lindhout, director of the DAAD Information Centre in Chennai, said Germany encourages Indian students to sign up for masters and research in engineering as not many natives show an interest in the discipline. "It's least taken up by those in Germany, and the country needs students in these areas, so Germany is interested in cooperation with Indian technical higher educational institutions," she said.
"It's no longer a prerequisite to learn German to study there. We invite Indian students to pick up the language to help them adapt better and for jobs, but it is not required to pursue a masters or for the visa procedure. It is part of the internationalization process, and DAAD has been pushing for it," she said.
Germany has also made efforts to attract Indian students by sponsoring initiatives aimed to enable Indian students to study, carry out research and gain work experience. Since 2009, 46 new co-operation projects have been forged between Indian and German universities.
Germany has also brought changes in visa rules to allow students from India to look for employment. This initiative has also helped increase the number of Indian students headed to Germany.
As many as 1,324 Indian students and 761 German students have been part of the DAAD exchange programme. Co-operation agreements have been signed between German institutions and the IITs, IIMs, the department of science and technology and the University Grants Commission.
The application deadline for these scholarships is now October 2 this year. DAAD is also organizing a special information session by Martin Rojek, head of the visa section at the German Consulate in Chennai on Monday in the city to give students information on applying for a student visa to Germany. A pre-departure meet will be held on August 7.