Ailing international study success

Nieuws | de redactie
5 december 2011 | Germany fights with low study success rates of its international students. Only 50% of all internationals complete their studies. Migrants with a German high school diploma do slightly better with 59% which is still significantly lower than the 75% study success of German students.

In cooperation with Higher Education Information System (HIS),the German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD) published a report on international students studying inGermany. Focus of this research were the so called”Bildungsinländer”, students that finished high school in Germany,but do not hold citizenship.

One of the main critique points by the OECD in the past was thatthe German education divides up pupils too early, especiallydisadvantaging children from migrant families and a lower socialeconomic background. While 34% of all German students get theirAbitur entitling them to follow higher education, only 13% of allforeigners manage to receive this diploma.

Once they have it, 84% of those opt for university studiescompared to 73% of all German Abitur holders. This great desire tomove up in the social and economic hierarchy is in the end oftendisappointed however. From the 63.000 “Bildungsinländer” only 59%complete their studies compared to 75% of all German students.

50/50 study success among internationalstudents

Ulrich Heublein, head of the “Bildungsinländer” research team,argues that this has most likely to do with the fact that migrantstend to come from families with a non-academic background. “So whydoes our education system not manage to give new impulses in thiscontext?” Heublein asks.

In addition to these “Bildungsinländer”, there were 181.000international students studying in Germany in 2010. With 50% theirstudy success rate was even lower. The DAAD pointed out thatespecially Western Europeans tend to interrupt their studies beforegraduating, returning to their home country and transferring anycredits they obtained.

The DAAD tries to work against this phenomenon as it sees it asan investment without return. Even if international graduates donot decide to stay in Germany to work, they would spread the nameof German universities in the world. Integration schemes like”buddy programs” that pair up foreign students with German mentorsare meant to tackle this issue. Whether this is all it takes tofoster Germany’s position as a top destination for internationalstudents remains to be seen.

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