German universities and embassies have closed down due to the COVID-19 scare. This means that thousands of international students who wished to start their studies can no longer do so. The German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD), an association of institutions providing higher education, is trying to reverse the decision.
As per reports, DAAD has asked the government to resume the VISA application process for international students. Flustered students have turned to Social media voicing their concerns. Under the hashtag, #EducationIsNotTourism they are objecting to Germany embassies closure.
These students are worried that if the VISA process does not start, they might lose their seats in German Universities. Students are requesting the government to intervene and provide Visa, so studies begin as usual.
One user who wrote with the moniker “Student” asked how many times they should postpone their admissions. Not only we stand to lose our admissions, and our language certificates would expire as well. Their efforts, time, and future are at stake. The user also complained that this situation is causing a lot of stress to them.
Similarly, another user named Malik Abdullah Hamid felt that students who have valid admission and permission letters should be given priority. Amit Kumar Jain, another user, emphasised that the Visa slot for master students should be increased in September and October. Since they have to join Universities in October end, the government should initiate the process soon.
German Universities Increasing Popularity among International Students
Germany remains a hugely popular destination for international students to start their careers. As per Data in 2017-18, around 374.951 students were pursuing higher studies in German universities. On the other hand, 2,842,225 were seeking a degree at German Universities in the same year.
DAAD Comes to the Rescue
Replying to the student’s woes, DAAD said that they had raised the concern with the German government. They also said that discussions with the Federal foreign ministry were on. The government is reacting positively, and hopefully, the situation would change in some time. DAAD also emphasised that all the science and research organisations have given them support to raise the matter.
In March this year only, the German government had decided to close all VISA centres and embassies. This happened after the Coronavirus outbreak influenced the lives of many.
With all embassies closing, they cancelled all interviews and slots for VISA. Students from Third countries stand to suffer the most. Unfortunately, if the government does not take the necessary steps, these students would be unable to start their college this year. All the plans made of campus education in Germany would go down.
Students Reaction to DAAD’s Response
The international students are pleased with DAAD’s response on social media. One Twitter user thanked DAAD for their timely intervention. He said that the government would realise the problems faced by students at this time. Hopefully, with the realisation, the VISA process would start, and students allowed to join their colleges.
Daad 2025 Strategy to Bring More International Students
Recent studies reported that 13.8% of students in Germany were international students. Recently DAAD also expressed the desire to allow international student exchanges in the country. As per their strategy report, it is essential that international students and German students both study here successfully.
The organisation said that they would support German universities to train International students as skilled workers. As per them, the government feels that companies need an efficient talent pool to maintain their innovative strengths. When they have a strong team working for them, the companies are going to prosper.
The strategy proposed by DAAD said they would give support to the successful integration of international students in German Universities. Learning and providing German language skills would be an active part of the curriculum at all Universities.
A recent survey conducted showed that people learning German worldwide have increased in the last five years. Apart from other countries, Africa has seen a sharp rise of 50%. DAAD president Joybrato Mukherjee feels that strategies developed by them are going to shape future foreign relations plans.
He also said that to achieve the goals, DAAD is working with other member Universities. They will be working on building values on which the German education system is standing tall.
Mukherjee also stressed upon the fact that the first attempt is to recognise exceptional talent. As a part of their endeavours, they will award brilliant international students and thus encourage them.
He also ascertained that in today’s time’s digital exchange plays a crucial role. Virtual formats have replaced mobility and hold the potential to replace it entirely. In the Corona pandemic, the world is witnessing this situation every single day.
DAAD is celebrating its centennial anniversary in 2025. With the plans being formulated, they hope to make Germany among the top 5 visited destinations for international students. As per the strategy document, a stay in Germany may not be a realistic situation for all. With the entry of so many students, the country will benefit and face issues too.
The organisation would continue its attempts to increase digitalisation and international collaboration. DAAD wants to gain significant cooperation with Africa. They know the continent considers Germany a viable destination and would like to exploit the benefit.
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Coronavirus made a drastic impact on the lives of students. As countries closed their offices and VISA procedures, many students stand to lose their chance to begin a fruitful career. With DAAD intervening, the situation seems to have lightened up a bit.
Students are hoping that government is noticing their Online rants. They only want their study plans should not be affected by the current crisis at hand. If the German government notices these pleas, something concrete will happen for sure.
As time progresses, Germany is trying its best to garner lots of international student support. So far, students prefer the UK over Germany as their prized future career destination. With renewed efforts, DAAD plans to change this thinking.
Their well chalked out strategy is sure to get international exposure for the country. If the current situation is defused, the country stands to gain in multiple ways.