The study ranked 30 European countries according to three categories: education, costs, and life and career.
Germany came on top with a total score of 83.2 out of 100.
“Where Germany has made a considerable improvement is in the number of courses offered in English, said Gerrit Blöss, CEO of Study.EU. While the UK and Ireland dominate this metric, offering almost all courses in English, Germany is second only to the Netherlands in the amount of courses students can study in English,” he said.
There are now around 150 German universities that offer at least one English-taught program, out of a total of around 400.
Cost is of education is another factor which made Germany stand out over the UK. While tuition fees have been abolished in the Bundesrepublik, the UK had the most expensive tuition of all the 30 countries analzsed.
Blöss pointed out, though, that Baden-Württemberg is now trying out tuition fees for international students.
“If these were rolled out nation-wide, it would undermine Germany’s competitiveness as a study destination.”
There also seems to be a fairly seamless path in Germany from graduating to employment.
Blöss pointed to Eurostat figures which show that only 2.3 percent of people with a degree in Germany are unemployed, the lowest on the continent.
Add to that strong scores in the UN world happiness report and moderately good levels of English among the general public, and Germany also scores strongly in the life and career category.
More and more students appear to be taking note of the higher education package on offer in Germany, with 340,000 foreign students in the country in 2015-16, compared to 265,000 four years before, figures from the Federal Statistical Office show.
“The vast majority of these students actually study in German, but the trend is going towards English,” said Blöss.
And with political change in the air, more and more students could make the choice to stay on the continent.
Trump and Brexit factors
“Two significant political developments will influence global higher education for years to come. First, there is the Trump presidency, driving international students away from the US to other countries – in many cases, Europe,” said Blöss.
“And then there is the upcoming Brexit, of which neither the timeline nor the consequences are foreseeable.
“Many prospective students expect deteriorating conditions in the UK, and they are starting to look for study-abroad experiences elsewhere in Europe.”
Still, Blöss cautioned that it is too early to start predicting Germany will take the UK’s crown as the number one study destination in Europe, pointing out that Britain still has roughly 100,000 more international students than Germany.
“The number of international students in Germany will certainly grow in the coming years, but it’s hard to predict if and when the country would have the most international students in all of Europe”, Blöss said.
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