Total international academic staff and international professors at German universities, by region of origin and key countries of origin, 2021

International academic staff at German universities in 2021 amounted to around 59,300 academic and artistic staff of foreign nationalities, or 13.9% of all academic staff. Since 2018, the number of international staff has increased by 20%. By comparison, the number of German academics and researchers has only risen by 5% over the same period.

The key countries of origin for international academic staff at German universities are India, Italy, China, Austria, Russia, the US, Iran and Spain. Among international professors, Austria is by far the most important country of origin, followed by Switzerland, Italy and the US. The two German-speaking countries of origin, Austria and Switzerland, account for almost one third of all international professors, at 19% and 9% respectively.

A regional breakdown shows that the Western Europe region of origin dominates both for international academic staff as a whole and for international professors. Of all international staff, 34% come from Western European countries; for professors, the figure is as high as 64%. Other major regions of origin for academic staff are Asia and Pacific (21%), Central and South Eastern Europe (13%), and North Africa and Middle East (11%). In the case of international professors, they are Central and South Eastern Europe (10%) and North America (8%).

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