German universities and other academic institutions are to make a bid to increase the volume of foreign exchange student programmes in the country by approximately 25%, the Times Higher Education portal reports.
Despite already being among the leading destinations for graduates on foreign study student programmes, particularly in the UK, German institutions feel they are not up to standard when competing with countries such as Australia, Canada, and the United Kingdom itself. As such, a number of measures are shortly to be put into place that seek to rectify this situation.
The bulk of these measures will, according to the article, rely on the funds allocated to the state-funded German Academic Exchange Programme, as well as to the Alexander Humboldt Foundation, which promotes international cooperation in German higher learning institutions.
The treaty that will make these measures official has only just been signed, after a three-month negotiation between German chancellor Angela Merkel and the other two main parties in the country, the Christian Social Union and the Central Democratic Union. In it, all three parties express the desire to bring international students to Germany for their degrees and post-graduate courses.
The number of international students choosing Germany as their destination has doubled since 1995, going from 140.000 to 280.000 in the two decades since. The objective of this new treaty is to raise that number to 350.000 in the near future — an increase of approximately 25%. The inverse is true of students leaving Germany for semesters or years abroad — while a third of all German graduates still embark on such adventures, most fear that their international exchange credits will not be recognised, as many German universities are still reluctant to accept outside credits towards their courses.
Among the factors attracting graduates to student programmes in Germany are low tuition fees and an excellent track record for engineering courses
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