Out of the 268 German Universities, the summer study plans of international students of majority universities were disturbed because of the COVID-19 pandemic. According to a survey by the German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD), over 80,000 students left Germany and went back to their home country after the outbreak of this global pandemic related travel restrictions.
This survey was carried out by around 40% of institutions during April and May 2020. During the time the survey was conducted, about half of the universities (47%)
had switched to online studies for the summer semesters via virtual teachings. Meanwhile, 45% of the universities opted for a blended approach of study inkling, both virtual and in-person studies.
The winter semester was yet to be planned by the universities as per situations prevailing at a later point in time. More than 80% of the universities had no set plans for the winter semester when the survey was conducted.
57% of the university population had anticipated a decline in the admits for the international students’ winter semester. Out of these, 57% of the population, 21% expected a substantial reduction, whereas 36% expected just a moderate decline. The institutes have been reported to help approximately 8,500 students return their home country during this pandemic.
About 30% of universities have claimed to discontinue some of their summer semester exchange programs for the year 2020. Meanwhile, about 25% has discontinued their summer semester exchange programs for the year 2020 completely and about 45% of the universities had not discontinued any of the said programs. It is also reported that international students at 65% of the universities had canceled their plans to study for the summer semester 2020.
For the winter semester, 49% of the universities expect a decrease in their home students’ mobility, out of which 31% expect a moderate decrease, whereas 18% expect a very high decline. Meanwhile, 36% of the universities expect a slight or almost no change. The survey also stated that there had been a significant impact on the exchange because of worldwide travel restrictions. However, almost all universities have implemented the measures of digitalization.
Although there have been negative forecasts for the student’s exchange and severe impairments of students’ mobility in Germany, the universities have still dealt well with the crisis flexibly and optimistically.
According to Jan Kercher, DAAD head of studies, the German universities have also seemed to react in a very calm and committed manner during the pandemic situation. Kercher also indicated that the adoption of a blended learning approach with the high online marketing of the same along with the modifications made on the international students’ selection and application processes had played a vital role.
Another major finding made by the survey was that only 2% of the German universities had been reported to close the student dorms for the summer semester compared to more than 50% of the universities of The United States.
The closure of the student dorms could have created extreme problems for the international students making them homeless. Thus, the German universities’ action has been very gratifying and helped many students from being homeless during such an adverse situation.