New DAAD head wants 22% more internationals

Nieuws | de redactie
26 januari 2012 | Margret Wintermantel is the new president of the DAAD, a public German agency to promote internationalization. Her goal: increasing the share of foreign students studying in Germany by over 20%.The means: tuition fees for non-EU students?

Since 2006, Wintermantel has been head of the”Hochschulrektorenkonferenz”, a group representing the interests ofGerman universities. In 2009, she was also elected into the boardof the European University Association (EUA), an internationaluniversity lobby.

She made her first public speech in her new function in Berlinlast week. Wintermantel emphasized that the “Deutscher AkademischerAustauschdienst” (DAAD) wants more German students to go abroad.Right now, only 1 out of 3 students spends at least part of theirstudies at a foreign university. “Compared to other countries, thisnumber is quite high. But considering globalization, we should beable to increase this share to 50%.”

Tuition fees for non-EU students

Furthermore, Wintermantel stated that “Germany needs more internationalstudents in order to maintain the high level and great reputationof its research sector.” That is why she wants to increase thenumber of foreign students in Germany from currently 245.000 up to300.000 until the end of 2020.

To make this ambition financially feasible, Wintermantelbelieves that Germany should consider charging tuition fees tonon-EU students. At the moment, this group of internationalstudents pays only marginal or no fees at all. “To guarantee thefundamental funding of our universities we need to attract morefinancing from private donors or tuition fees.”

Not long ago, Sweden implemented a similar policy with mixedresults. At first, the number of international students opting for Swedish universities dropped by 90%.Recent numbers, however, show that foreign student numbers areslowly recovering. The financing of internationalstudents is also under discussion by Klaus Landfried, Wintermantels’predecessor. 

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