Germany most lucrative higher education destination
By Aruni Jinasena
Studying in a well-recognised foreign university ineed no longer be expensive. Paying a nominal tuition fee of 500 euros per semester, Sri Lankan students can obtain an internationally recognised degree from a German University. To find out more about this unique opportunity, the Daily Mirror FT spoke to Ms. Heidi Steiner, DAAD Representative to Sri Lanka, whose office is located at the German Cultural Centre, Colombo 7.
DAAD (“German Academic Exchange Service”), has been one of the world’s largest and most respected intermediary organisations for more than 75 years. In a bid to promote higher studies in Germany among Sri Lankans, DAAD operates an office in Sri Lanka, where any interested candidate can get information about studying in Germany, entry requirements, application procedures, students’ life in Germany, etc. As it is financed by the German government, the whole counseling service is rendered free of charge.
“Since most of the universities in Germany are state-funded and thus highly subsidised, universities charge a maximum of 500 euros (Rs.82,000) per semester. In fact, there are universities in certain areas of Germany where students do not have to pay anything at all for their education. Considering these low rates and high standards compared to other foreign institutions, this programme provides a most attractive opportunity for many Sri Lankans. It is a pity that most Sri Lankans looking for foreign degree programmes are not aware of these facts,” Ms. Steiner said.
She further stressed that Germany is the third largest country for international students. Currently, over 250,000 international students study or conduct research in Germany’s 376 universities. These universities offer a broad and diverse range of 1,000 international degree programmes. Of these, over 400 in various disciplines including engineering, natural sciences, computer sciences, economics, social studies and humanities are taught entirely in the English medium. Medicine, however, is still taught exclusively in German. “Having a basic knowledge of German will benefit the students in their day-to-day dialogue with native speakers,” she added.
Explaining basic entry requirements, she outlined that an A/L qualification (Local or London) is compulsory for a first degree. A Bachelor’s degree from a recognised university is, however, a must for any post-graduate programme. Any interested candidate can apply online by logging in to www.daad.de/international-programmes. The final selection is made by the university itself, giving priority for “high potential students”. “There are also annual scholarship announcements for academic staff, researchers and professionals, subject to certain conditions. Foreign students are allowed to work 180 half days per year, which enables them to do part time jobs to help them with their living expenses,” she said.
Close cooperation between Germany’s universities and industry offers an early and close insight into the working world, a real plus for the future careers of potential students. Due to the reasonable charges, high quality of education, possibility of selecting from a wide range of study programmes in the English medium and the opportunity of studying among other international “high potential students”, Gemany could be the most sought-after study destination among Sri Lankans in the future. “DAAD is willing to help potential students from Sri Lanka in every gamut of the requirements necessary for a overseas study programme,” Ms. Steiner stated.
She stressed that DAAD-Sri Lanka also contributes to strengthen the German Section of the University of Kelaniya, by providing the necessary text books, study material and other equipment. Moreover, a student of the German Section, selected from an annual Essay Competition, is granted a scholarship to a Summer Language Course of one month’s duration in a German university.
For further information, please contact the German Cultural Centre, Gregorys Road, Colombo 7 (email: firstname.lastname@example.org).