International students and first-year students in Germany since winter semester 2018/19

Despite the global mobility restrictions in 2020 and 2021, the first two years of the pandemic, there was no drop in the number of international students at German universities. On the contrary, their numbers continued to grow. Between the 2019/20 winter semester and the 2020/21 winter semester, the number of international students rose from around 319,900 to 324,700, an increase of 2%. This positive development continues in the 2021/22 winter semester, the second winter semester of the pandemic. At this point in time, a total of around 349,400 international students are enrolled at German universities, a rise of approximately 24,700 or 8% compared to the 2020/21 winter semester.

To begin with, there was a significant decline in international first-year students in 2020 nonetheless. While there were approximately 78,700 in the 2019/20 winter semester, this number dropped to 63,700 one year later, a decrease of 19%. However, the number of international first-year students rose again in the 2021/22 winter semester, by around 10,200 to 73,900, an increase of 16%. This significantly reduces the margin between the highest number of international students enrolling for the first time, roughly 78,700, in the 2020/21 winter semester.

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