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Heidelberg: Germany’s Most Popular University for International Doctoral Students

Press Release No. 172/2010
21 July 2010
Wissenschaft weltoffen 2010: New study by the German Academic Exchange Service

Heidelberg is Germany’s most popular university for international doctoral students. This is the conclusion drawn by the new Wissenschaft weltoffen 2010 study published by the German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD) and the Higher Education Information System (HIS). Among the 50 most important higher-education institutions enrolling international doctoral students, Heidelberg tops the list.

Alongside its outstanding international reputation, Heidelberg exerts a magnetic attraction on outstanding young academics for its wide range of structured doctoral programmes and research training groups, guaranteeing them a high-quality education  Some courses are taught in English. In addition, Heidelberg boasts four International Max Planck Research Schools. Three of the university’s graduate schools are funded by resources from the Initiative for Excellence. Regardless of subject, the Graduate Academy provides all doctoral and postdoctoral students with counselling, further education offerings and support programmes.

About one third of the doctoral students enrolled at Heidelberg University come from abroad, says Dr. Joachim Gercke, head of the administration’s International Affairs Department. In the 2009/2010 winter semester the total number was 889, including 116 from China, 62 from India, 46 from Italy and 43 from Greece.

The joint DAAD/HIS study indicates that the number of international graduates coming to Germany to do their doctorates is on the rise. In 2009 a total of 18,000 doctoral students from abroad were enrolled at German universities, twice as many as in 2000. One in five doctoral students comes from outside Germany. German doctoral programmes are particularly attractive for graduates from Asian and eastern European countries. China and India head the list, followed by Russia and Poland. “Most international doctoral students feel at home and well looked-after in Germany,” reports the German Academic Exchange Service. “They have opted for this location because of the excellent reputation for high academic standards that higher-education institutions in Germany have earned themselves.”

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further information (in German)

Pressemitteilung des DAAD

Studie „Wissenschaft weltoffen 2010"

Studierendenstatistik der Universität Heidelberg (PDF)

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