Attractions of Tertiary Studies And Research In Germany

Prof Datuk Dr Mazlin with Dr Guido  Schnieders of the DAAD

By Saiful Bahri Kamaruddin
Pix Izwan Azman

BANGI, 18 Dec 2015 – Tertiary studies and research in Germany can turn out to be cheaper than going to comparable institutions in the United Kingdom or the United States.

This is because German public universities, of which 95% of students go to, do not charge tuition fees, said  Dr Guido  Schnieders, Director of the German Academic Exchange (DAAD) Information Centre.

He was explaining on ways to get funding programmes for PhD Candidates and Researchers.

“We Germans have a weird idea about Education. We do not see it as a business to make money, but we think it as benefiting the nation. We do not take tuition fees,” said Dr Schnieders at the plenary session of the Research and Postgraduate Study Opportunities in Germany Information Seminar, organised by The National University of Malaysia (UKM), DAAD, and the German Embassy in Malaysia, here today.

He explained that the German philosophy of Education is that it must be accessible to all, including international students.

“Cost of living in Germany is actually lower than tuition fees in UK. There is generally no tuition fees even at PhD level.

“Living cost of about  30,000 (RM140,000) a year is enough,” he clarified.

Moreover, post-graduate students, even foreign ones, are asked to continue working in Germany, he said.

“International students are invited to work in Germany for at least 18 months. You can find a job matching your qualifications and practical experience.

“Just in case you need funding, there are  about 20 organisations you can apply to, which are listed at

As for language, he pointed out that in most subjects, a PhD can be written in English with students provided with English-speaking supervisors.

“English is the language of instruction. You need a supervisor and a proposal, and you must be enrolled as a PhD student in a Malaysian university. The project must be completed within 3 years between start of programme and submission of papers,” he informed.

UKM Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Research and Innovation) Prof Datuk Dr Mazlin Mokhtar, in opening the seminar, described Germany as ‘The Land Of Ideas’ and expressed hope that Malaysia would be able to emulate the European nation in research of sustainability in the environment.

“We want to sustain the rate of growth and protect the environment. Germany is very brave to  to promise of reducing its Carbon Footprint by 20% in 2020, and 40% by 2050. We, in turn, are on the right track in pursuing inclusivity with the high target set for ourselves by the year 2020, said Prof Mazlin.

Meanwhile, Dr Katja Lasch, the DAAD Head of International Research Marketing said in her overview that the event , co-organised with the UKM Graduate Center, was aimed at getting Malaysians better acquainted with some of Germany’s leading universities and research institutions.

Dr Lasch said Malaysian students can pick from about 1,000 publicly-funded research institutions in Germany, with research expenditure topping 80 billion or about RM370 billion.

Also present at the one-day seminar was Carsten Fischer of the German Embassy.

The event will included several presentations on how to fund graduate studies and research projects.

During the event, students got the opportunity to speak with representatives from eight German institutions of higher education.

Among the German institutions taking part were German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD), Alexander von Humboldt Foundation (AvH), Fraunhofer Gesellschaft, Baden-Württemberg International, Regensburg University of Applied Sciences, Rhine-Waal University of Applied Sciences and University of Duisburg-Essen.ukmnewsportal-eg


Dr Katja Lasch of the DAAD