4.5 million students abroad

Master Graduation, Aarhus University, 2012. Photo: Danida Fellowship Center

By Pernille Friis

In 2015 about 4.5 million students worldwide left their home countries to go abroad to study at higher education institutions. In 2000 the figures were 2,1 million and in 1980 1,1 million according to Project Atlas, a global consortium tracking student mobility.

As student mobility is increasing, higher education institutions compete to attract the brightest foreign students. Generally, university enrolment is growing around the world.

International student mobility trends are studied closely by international organs such as UNESCO, OECD, and Project Atlas of the Institute of International Education in the United States.

UNESCO – the Global Flow of Student
The trend internationally is that more and more students stay closer to home.

In the Arab States and in sub-Saharan Africa the share of mobile students studying within the Region has increased over the past 15 year. Read more click here.

OECD – Education at a Glance
Foresighted governments and educational institutions compete to attract foreign students. They have acknowledged the educational value associated with a diverse student environment - and the increasing revenues that comes with offering education to international students. Read more click here.

Project Atlas – the Atlas of Student Mobility
China is rapidly becomming a favorite choice of international students. 

China is now the top three host country for international mobility students while not amongst the top eight in 2001 Iin 2001 while not amongst the top eight in 2001.

The number of mobility students in Denmark has decreased from 32,960 students in 2013 to 32,076 students in 2014. Read more click here.

Pernille Friis is Research Project Administrator, Danida Fellowship Centre. Email: pf@dfcentre.dk

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