The number of foreigners graduating from German universities has increased from 12,791 to 38,332 in the last 12 years, according to figures from the Federal Statistics Office released on Monday.
The largest national groups are Chinese, Turks and Russians, it said.
Recent reforms in the further education system to provide bachelor and master degrees which are internationally recognised have provided much of the impetus, Tuesday’s Frankfurter Rundschau newspaper said.
German universities also have a good reputation for being practical, and well-equipped, particularly in the sciences and engineering subjects as well as maths, the paper said. This makes them attractive for people keen to enter industry. This year’s International Student Barometer study placed Germany behind the USA and UK but ahead of France and Australia for popularity.
The lifestyle to be found in certain cities would also seem to have an effect – globally Berlin was ranked eighth for popularity among students. Paris, London and Boston were at the top while Munich was 13th.
But problems faced by foreign students in Germany are still considerable, the newspaper noted. Nearly of the nearly 250,000 students who are at German universities fail to finish their courses – complaints about bureaucratic tangles, ignorance of German co-students and difficulties getting a flat are legion.
And although 80 percent of foreigners who study in Germany would like to stay afterwards and put their new qualifications to use, only about 25 percent do so.