According to the latest data available from OECD the number of international students went up from close to 4 million in 2011 to close to 5 million in 2016. As recently as the year 2000 the numbers were just 2 million according to UNESCO.
Reportedly Asian students comprise of well over 50 percent of the foreign students enrolled in various universities in different parts of the world. The largest numbers come from China, India and Korea. OECD countries are host to more international students than they send abroad and the ratio being approximately 3:1. The G20 countries are the most preferred and attract almost 83 percent of all the foreign students and the trend has remained steady.
Thanks to the internet, the numbers of those who choose to study abroad keeps going up each year. Let’s have a look at which are the most preferred countries:
Within the Continental Europe it is Germany, France, Spain, Italy, Sweden, The Netherlands, Poland and Finland that are the most popular destinations. On a worldwide basis despite the situation being what it is the United States attracts close to 24 percent of all those studying abroad, followed by the U.K. 11 percent and China 10 percent. Australia, Canada and France get about 7 percent and Germany and Russia about 6 percent each.
These numbers should change a little since France has decided to hike up the fees substantially and education in most of Germany will remain almost free for international students.
By 2020 the number of those electing to study beyond high school shall reach 250 million and this is projected to reach 594 million as early as 2040.
Not only is this good for those receiving higher education but quite importantly for international integration.
Photos: Shutterstock / Collage: Martina Advaney