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Drop-out Rates of International Students in Germany

Aurora Brief Reviews No. 17 July 17 2020

September 2020

In the 2020 – 1 issue of the Handbook Internationalisation of Higher Education, Marita McGrory has published an interesting article on International Students’ Success in Germany. Her analysis shows that contrary to the still prevailing assumption in Germany, international students’ study success is reasonably comparable to that of German students, particularly when you zoom in on the students in the Diplom-courses. In a private conversation with your editor, Marita poses that international students may well already outperform Germans if we zoom in on the Master’s courses.
The article can be seen in the same vein as an earlier report by Jan Kercher from DAAD. That report, Academic success and drop-out among international students in Germany and other major host countries, does still show higher drop out rates for international students compared to Germans. However, it also already indicates that international drop-out rates are declining (= improving). Kercher puts this in the context that in other countries (the USA, Australia, the Netherlands) international students generally perform better than domestic students. So he argues – and Marita McGrory strongly concurs – that the weaker performance of international students in Germany is not a given, but something that can be must be and is already being seen to be improving.

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