German scheme pays off

May 14, 2004

A multimillion-euro advertising campaign to market German universities abroad has paid off, with latest statistics showing a record number of overseas students.

Figures compiled by the German Academic Exchange Service reveal that more than 163,000 international students attended German universities last year, a 63 per cent increase over the past six years. Germany lies in third place behind the US and Britain in terms of countries favoured by international students.

The boom in overseas applications to German universities has delighted Edelgard Bulmahn, the education minister, who last year invested E15 million (£10 million) in the marketing campaign.

"Students and young scientists come to us because we offer a wide-ranging and differentiated university and research landscape," she said.

Foreign students make up 8.4 per cent of Germany's total student body, an increase of 2.9 per cent since 1997.

China is the single biggest supplier of students to the country, with 20,000, while Germany's neighbour Poland takes second place with 10,000.

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