New OECD Study: Germany attractive to international graduates

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According to a recent OECD report, the Federal Republic of Germany is among the top nations for international students and graduates. According to the German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD), the study supports Germany’s excellent reputation as a center for science and higher education. However, the dropout rates of international students still have room for improvement.

“The most recent OECD data provide crucial new understandings into how foreign students stay and begin working in Germany after graduation. They portray a very positive picture for our nation: after graduating from college, almost 60% of international students begin working in the Federal Republic, “said Prof. Dr. Joybrato Mukherjee, president of DAAD. “In a global comparison, Germany thus holds the top spot for attracting overseas students. The new data also shows that an above-average portion of skilled labor immigration comes from international graduates.”

High proportion of skilled labor immigration

The most recent numbers from the OECD’s annual International Migration Outlook show that 23 percent of all residents with residence titles who were employed or searching for work in Germany in 2019 were foreign graduates. This indicates that foreign graduates of domestic universities make up close to a quarter of the entire influx of skilled workers. In 2019, the percentage of former international students was highest only in Japan (37%) followed by Italy (46%) and France (52%). In contrast, the share in the United Kingdom was 12%.

More than half remain in the country

According to OECD data, Germany also holds a top spot regarding the number of international students who remain there. Of those who started their studies in 2010, 54% were still there after five years and had successfully completed their degrees. As many as 63 percent of students who began their studies in 2015 were affected. The retention rate was still 45% after ten years. According to the OECD analysis, Canada is the only country where overseas students choose to remain after graduation. The retention rates were sometimes much lower in other nations like Australia, New Zealand, France, Switzerland, Sweden, and the United Kingdom.

Reduce dropout rates of international students

In addition to this favorable balance, the data also show that retention rates in this country could be significantly higher if more international students complete their studies. About 45% of international bachelor’s students and 31% of international master’s students drop out each year, totaling approximately 26,000 students. This is almost twice as many students from Germany. The DAAD is working with funders and member universities to achieve its objective of bringing overseas students’ academic success up to par with that of their German counterparts. Additionally, it released the practice-based research paper “Accompanying International Students in Germany to Academic Success: Results and Recommendations for Action from the SeSaBa Project.”

The OECD report “International Migration Outlook” can be found here.


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