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German Universities Registered 9% Increase in Guest Students in Winter Semester 2023/24

Courses at German universities registered a total of 32,200 guest students in the winter semester 2023/24.

The latest data from the Federal Statistics Office (Destatis) show that this figure represents a nine per cent increase in guest students compared to the winter semester of 2022/2023, when 29,600 were registered. However, it is still 14 per cent less than before the coronavirus pandemic in the winter semester 2019/2020 (37,200), Studying-in-Germany reports.

“In the winter semester of 2020/2021, when hardly any face-to-face courses were offered due to the pandemic, the number of guest students fell by 29 per cent. Since then, they have risen again,” Destatis’s statement reads.

Number of Guest Students to German Universities Is Still Far Below the Levels of 2019

Based on the figure registered during the winter semester of 2022/23, which Destatis mentioned above (29,600), the same revealed that compared to the previous winter semester, it marks an eight per cent increase.

Despite this increase, the number of guest students remains 20 per cent lower than before the COVID-19 pandemic in the winter semester of 2019/20.

The same authority further said that during the 2023/2024 semester, the number of foreign guest students increased by 1.8 per cent compared to 2022/2023, while the number of German guest students increased by ten per cent to 28,500.

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Age groups from 60 years and above experienced the actual increase. In this regard, the average age of guest students increased from 49 to 51 years from the winter semester 2022/2023 to the winter semester 2023/2024.

At the same time, the percentage of foreigners compared to guest students in general dropped slightly from 12 per cent to 11 per cent during this period. As for the percentage of women, it remained unchanged at 49 per cent.

According to Destatis, guest students can participate in individual courses and lectures at German universities without a formal university entrance qualification. Although no final exam is possible, guest studies allow for further academic education and are an essential element in “lifelong learning”.

Of the 2.9 million students regularly enrolled in the 2023/24 winter semester, guest students accounted for 1.1 per cent.

More Guest Students Enrolling in German, History & Philosophy Studies

Moreover, visiting students often have general access to courses. Thus, the most popular subjects that visiting students studied in the winter semester of 2023/2024 were as follows:

  • History (2,800 visiting students)
  • Philosophy (2,600)
  • Computer science (2,500)
  • Economics (2,400)

 

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