German universities are more popular than ever. Data by theGerman Federal Statistical Office indicate that 515.800 studentsstarted their studies at the beginning of the academic year2011/2012. Compared to last year’s 445.000, this represents a 16%increase.
These numbers did not come as a surprise since reforms insecondary education and the scrapping of the military servicesignificantly
“It is a very good sign that many young people are eager tostart their studies. The great popularity of higher education showsthat Germany responds to its current skills shortage. These numbersalso prove the great attractiveness of studying at a Germanuniversity,” commented Annette Schavan, Minister for Education andResearch.
335.000 more student places and boom in engineering andsciences
To face the substantial growth of its student population, Germanuniversities were provided with additional funds as part of the”Hochschulpakt”. This agreement guarantees universities €26.000 forevery extra student they take in. Goal is to increase the currentcapacity of the higher education sector by 335.000 until 2015 whichis equivalent to a total amount of €5 billion in subsidies.
The data from the German Federal Statistical Office also showthat science and engineering is increasingly popular. The number ofstudents opting for engineering in particular increased by 21%. “Itwas the explicit goal of our ‘Hochschulpakt’ to foster thepopularity of disciplines such as informatics, natural sciences,mathematics and engineering. These are essential to face skillsshortages in areas essential to Germany’s sustainable development,”said Schavan.
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