NEWSBRIEF: German students becoming increasingly mobile

Germany ranks third as a destination for studying abroad, coming in after the US and UK, according to a new survey by the German Student Welfare Service, or DSW. The survey also shows that German students themselves are becoming increasingly mobile. Since 1997, the number of foreign students in Germany has risen from 100,033 to 189,450, with the overall number of students at just under two million.

The DSW survey on the internationalisation of studying, supported by the Federal Education Ministry, points out that numbers of German students going abroad also rose markedly from 52,220 in 2000 to 75,800 in 2005.

"German students are much more mobile than those in comparable industrialised countries," says Parliamentary State Secretary Andreas Storm. "We want to increase this dynamic trend. Our target is for the number of German students abroad to reach the 100,000 mark over the next few years."

Student mobility among Germans still depends strongly on their social background. But Storm stresses that the 22nd amendment of the BAFöG Federal student support system of January 2007 now allows students to receive support for the full length of study courses abroad. The DSW figures are based on a survey conducted in the summer semester of 2006.

Mike Gardner