Africa is coming!

Sixteen leading German companies, including Robert Bosch GmbH, have united for the initiative “Africa is coming!”, which has now taken place three times. For young people from Africa it offers more than just the opportunity for further education. Twenty-one talented youngsters from sub-Saharan Africa can undertake one year of further education in Germany in the form of a scholarship. The African beneficiaries come from Botswana, Gabon, Gambia, Ghana, Kenya, Mozambique, Nigeria, Zimbabwe, South Africa and Tanzania. During their stay in Germany they will be able to extend their personal network, take part in further education courses and get to know German culture, and thus expand their international experience. A three-month introduction phase with intensive language courses prepares the participants for the nine-month technical training that follows in the participating companies. Alongside the programme, an extensive range of weekend activities will be offered by the Robert Bosch Foundation with a focus on “education and civic engagement” in Stuttgart and from the Zeit Foundation with a focus on “media and culture” in Hamburg. Alongside the Zeit Foundation Ebelin and Gerd Bucerius, the Robert Bosch Foundation is one of the cooperation partners of the programme. Patron of the initiative is the Federal President Joachim Gauck. Through their participation, the companies wish to contribute to a long-term economic development in African states. For the third set of beneficiaries from 2013 to 2015, some of the participating companies – such as SAP AG and Merck KGaA – have decided to take on more than one participant.

Guests from around the world in Baden-Württemberg

International students love Germany. According to figures from the Federal Statistical Office, Germany is the most popular non-English-speaking country in the world for studying in.

This is also reflected in Stuttgart and the region. In the State University of Music and the Performing Arts Stuttgart alone, the approximately 770 students come from more than 40 countries. But other subjects are also very international. Qianqing Xu (23) comes from China and is studying for a Master’s degree in automotive engineering in Stuttgart. “The technology in Germany is the best”, he praises. Patrick Tchakoute (29) from Cameroon is studying for a diploma certificate in Informatics in Stuttgart. He believes Germany is “the best place to study, and the tuition fees are still affordable”. Sun Yuchen (25) from China is studying for a Master’s degree in engineering in Stuttgart. “I chose to study in Germany because there are no high tuition fees”, she says. Issam Yahyaoui comes from Tunisia and funds his medical degree by working as a waiter.

At the University of Stuttgart for the winter semester 2013/14, 18,800 written applications were received for a place of study. This represents a further increase in the number of applications of 11 per cent. In Heidelberg, the town of 140,000 residents has 24,000 students, so every sixth inhabitant is a student. In Tübingen every fourth no less. Although Stuttgart has more students overall – namely 34,000 – with 600,000 residents only one in 17 is a student. But one in seven students comes from abroad. The high level of scientific knowledge, the low tuition fees and the quality of the knowledge transfer are popular among the international students.

The international graduates are in turn highly interesting for the German economy and industry. After all, everyone is looking for effective measures to counteract the impending shortage of skilled labour. .