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ERIC Number: EJ973409
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2012-Jan-15
Pages: N/A
Abstractor: ERIC
Reference Count: N/A
ISSN: ISSN-1931-1362
As Euro Crisis Heightens, Germans Resist Tapping Foreign Students for Revenue
Labi, Aisha
Chronicle of Higher Education, Jan 2012
As Europe has lurched from one economic crisis to another in recent months, one thing has become clear: Any long-term solution will depend on the willingness of Germany, Europe's largest economy, to shoulder much of the financial burden the debt crisis has created. German taxpayers, known for their thrift, have balked at underwriting what many see as the financial irresponsibility of their neighbors. Yet they remain willing to generously subsidize others from much farther afield, including foreign students studying on their campuses and at universities Germany helped create in developing countries. The cost is significant: After the United States and Britain, Germany is close to being tied for third place with France, China, and Australia in the number of foreign students it attracts. Unlike some countries, Germany does not view foreign students as a source of money to prop up cash-strapped institutions. There is little discussion, among politicians, higher-education professionals, or taxpayers, about attempting to capitalize on Germany's popularity with foreign students and turn it into a source of income. Instead, the internationalization of higher education in Germany is focused on the benefits it confers on both foreign and German students, German universities, and society as a whole. The country has, for the most part, continued to subscribe to the once dominant European notion that higher education is a public good, to be financed from the public purse. And, motivated in part by a drive to leave behind its xenophobic past, Germany has applied this rationale equally to foreigners, even as a growing number of European countries have abandoned that view. Even Germany's handful of international branch campuses, such as the Vietnamese-German University and the German Jordanian University, are driven by a desire to help develop the host nations' educational capacity. The programs offered by German universities of applied sciences, which focus on engineering and applied research, are of particular appeal in the developing world, and these institutions have been especially active in pursuing international collaborations such as joint and dual-degree programs. The German Academic Exchange Service, which has an annual budget of $533-million, is emblematic of how Germany views internationalization, blending the money and interests of several key German agencies. Germany sees international higher education as a long-term investment. Germans are willing to subsidize internationalization of higher education in part because they recognize that educating foreigners is mutually beneficial.
Chronicle of Higher Education. 1255 23rd Street NW Suite 700, Washington, DC 20037. Tel: 800-728-2803; Tel: 202-466-1000; Fax: 202-452-1033; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: Higher Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Australia; China; France; Germany; United States