While the world continues to reel from the blows inflicted by Covid-19, a few countries are leading the way forward to a more secure future post the health scare posed by the Coronavirus. With a highly robust health care system, Germany stands tall among the list of nations that has dealt with the situation with a firm hand yet highly caring attitude towards not only its citizens but also with international students.
Most universities like TU Munchen and Aachen suspended classes for the current students, and shifted to online instruction mode. In universities such as Anhalt University, almost 70 % of all the international students chose to stay back and continue their courses, which is indicative of the high quality of the care provided by the university and the health system that covers all students, domestic and international.
After transitioning to teaching via the On-Line mode within a week of the pandemic, classes have now resumed as per the normal in in-person teaching in most universities, after ensuring that the seating arrangement of having a 1.50-meter gap is maintained, as per the social distancing norm. This has ensured that classes are now running at almost 50% strength, but it is a tribute to the German Health System and the efficiency of the universities that classes have resumed. This is one of the reasons that there are almost 21,000 Indian students studying in Germany (four times the global average) and are now the second largest group of international students. Not surprisingly, almost 70% of these students chose to study Engineering with the other choices being Mathematics and Natural Sciences and Law and Social Studies among others.
For students from India, Germany is the ideal country to study abroad. There are around 400 institutions of higher educations in Germany, many of which offer English-taught study programmes – about 1,000 in total. In addition to having many leading universities in the world, and a very rich and research driven course structure, many universities offer English-language study options, especially at the postgraduate level. The majority of higher education institutions in Germany are financed by the state and there are generally no fees for Bachelor’s courses or most Master’s courses at state higher education institutions. Private higher education institutions may demand substantially higher fees for their degree programmes. And the living cost usually does not go beyond 10,000 Euros per year and one can do a part time job to fund some part of this cost.
Thus, Germany has multiple other advantages that ensure it remains the cynosure of all eyes in terms of attracting the best talent to its shores. With a geriatric population, Germany needs immigrants more than ever before. There are over 1 million jobs vacant in the country and workers in the Mathematics, Engineering, Science and Technology (MINT) category are among the most prized individuals. This is especially true since a McKinsey’s Future Skills Study shows that 700,000 additional tech specialists will be needed over the next five years. In fact, the demand for skilled workers in areas such as IT, Engineering, is unprecedented, with an expectation of there being a shortfall of over 3 million workers by 2030.
K. P. Singh
CEO – IMFS
(TO BE CONCLUDED)
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