Home Destination Abroad Surge in the number of people learning German

Surge in the number of people learning German

According to a survey, the number of schools that teach German abroad has grown from 95,000 in the year 2015 to the current 106,000. There have been reported about 15.4 million people across the world studying German. 

There was a survey conducted by the Federal Foreign Office in coordination with the German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD), Deutsche Welle, Zentralstelle fĂĽr das Auslandsschulwesen (ZfA) and Goethe Institute. This survey concluded that around 11.2 million people are learning German in the neighboring countries of Europe. There has also been an increase in interest in learning Germany amongst people living in India, Denmark, Russia, the Czech Republic, and the Netherlands over the last five years. 

Poland is ranked to have the highest number of German learners of about 1.95 million in numbers. Also, India has seen a considerable increase in the number of learners wanting to learn German. This has also reflected in an immigration survey that shows that the number of Indian students in Germany has almost doubled in the last five years.

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The latest figures released by the Federal Statistical Office of Germany reveal the following:

  • The number of Indian students in Germany has grown by 18.44% over the last year and stands at 20,810 (Winter Semester 2018-19). The total number of international students in Germany has grown by 5.3%. The rate of growth in the number of Indian students going to Germany is almost four times that of the global average.
  • Indians form the 2nd largest group of international students enrolled at German universities (Bildungsausländer).
  • Subject fields: Engineering: 70%, Mathematics and Natural Sciences: 12%, Law and Social Studies: 13%, Other: 5%
  • Enrolment according to the type of HEI: Universities: 64%, Fachhochschulen (Universities of Applied Science): 34%, Other: 2%
  • M/F Ratio: Male: 72%, Female: 28%
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Source: Bildung und Kultur: Studierende an Hochschulen, Statistisches Bundesamt

In Africa, however, there has been an increase of almost 50% of German learners, especially in Egypt, Algeria, and CĂ´te d’Ivoire. Asia has also seen growth in learners with China leading the population. 

In the survey, it was found that the German language is primarily taught at the schools, most of which are partners in the PASCH initiative, an initiative that has around 2,000 schools as partners across 100 countries promoting the German language. There are also about 3,09,000 people who learn this language through the Goethe Institute. 

Germany has grown to be one of the most favored nations for study and building a career across the world among the students, which requires a minimum of B1 language level for the purpose of citizenship. Thus, immigration is a major factor that leads to an increasing percentage of German learners. 

It has been found out that Germany has the same number of learners as that of Spanish. Also, in comparison with French, Germany ranks less than 82 million French learners and about 1.5 billion less English learners across the globe. 

The survey also demonstrated that after the United Kingdom was separated from Europe, there was seen a loss of interest in German learners of about 25%.

It was explained by the state minister of international cultural policy, Michelle MĂĽntefering, that learning the German language opens the door for future opportunities in Germany not only for the impeccable education system offered by the excellent universities in Germany but also in terms of job opportunities in the skilled market. It helps people from abroad to build with cosmopolitan Germany a relation that would be long term. MĂĽntefering also said that German schools abroad and the PASCH schools help develop good relationships with them and create bonds with the German societies. 

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The survey also highlighted the importance of digital learning for both the learners as well as the training of then teachers.  


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