About 4,000 first-year students enroled in German higher education last year, according to a survey by Germany's Rectors' Conference, the HRK.
This is roughly the same number as last year, and does not indicate any relief of the ongoing overcrowding crisis.
The HRK's findings contradict the Federal Statistical Office's claim of a reduction in first-year students. According to the HRK, a real reduction in the old federal states has been offset by an increase of 6.6 per cent in east Germany.
The overall number of students dropped by 0.6 per cent to nearly 1.9 million in the 1995/96 semester. There are only 900,000 places to study. Higher education representatives and several politicians have little faith in the federal government's DM80 million (Pounds 36.4 million) for construction measures improving the situation.
HRK president Hans-Uwe Erichsen says that demographic developments plus a trend towards higher qualifications are likely to push up first-year student numbers in west Germany again in future.
There has been a marked decline in enrolments at technical universities. Professor Erichsen has appealed to school-leavers not to be deterred by the current poor job prospects for engineers if they want to enrol in engineering courses.