Asian students continued to represent over half of international students enrolled in tertiary education in 2013, according to the latest Education at a Glance report by OECD, which also shows the proportion of international students is higher at the more advanced degree levels.

Asian students enrolled with KGIC in Canada. Photo: KGIC

Its latest report, which was released this week, also notes that the number of students going to study in OECD countries was three times the number of students from the same 34 OECD-member countries studying abroad.

Looking at data from 2013, the report found students from Asia was the home continent for 53% of all international students enrolled in mainstay study destinations (34 member countries and 12 others).

“It is by a large margin the most dominant source of international students”

Speaking from a webinar presenting the OECD report, Andreas Schleicher, director for education and skills at OECD, said that this region is “where you can see the hunger for learning”.

“It may change in the future but at the moment, [it is] by a large margin the most dominant source of international students, followed by Europe, with a large gap,” he said.

A quarter of outbound international students hailed from Europe, followed by 8% from Africa. Latin America and the Caribbean had 5% of the share of international students. Despite North America traditionally being home to top destination countries, it only represented 3% of outbound international students.

The report also notes that higher numbers of international students in OECD countries are enrolled in the more advanced degree programmes.

On average, 24% of students enrolled in a doctoral programme, or equivalent, were international. This level is ahead of master’s programmes, where 14% of students in this level of degree programme were international students.

However, bachelor’s degrees saw the lowest nationality mix, with only 6% of enrolments on average coming from international students.

When looking at international students in relevant countries as a percentage of the total enrolment, Luxembourg once again was out on top, with 44% of all students enrolled in tertiary education being classified international, an increase from 41% in 2012.

“24% of students enroled in a doctoral programme, or equivalent, are international”

“But really the winners here are Australia, UK, Switzerland, Austria, New Zealand,” said Schleicher. “They can actually see there’s a large percentage of international students in a proportion of total enrolment.”

The report found that in 2013, 18% of Australia’s tertiary education student body was international, with the UK, Switzerland and Austria welcoming 17% of their cohorts as international students.

Despite the US welcoming 19% of international students, when looking at international students as a percentage of total enrolment in the country, it is clear to see the results are a lot different.

International students accounted for 4% of the total tertiary education student body, unchanged from the year before.

“When you look at this in relation to the very large education system in the US and the very large economy, you can see actually the truth is that the US is more like Portugal or Latvia when it comes to the share of international students in the country,” said Schleicher.

However, the US remained the top destination country, with an increase of 3% from 2012, welcoming 19% of the share of international students in 2013. The UK followed with 10% of international students, a drop of 3% from the year before.

Australia and France were both tied with 6%, as Germany welcomed 5% of the international student share.

“We are also seeing other trends and that’s basically that digital possibilities, like MOOCs, allow people to follow courses anywhere in the world,” Schleicher added, “so students no longer have to go to a country to attend another country’s course and programme.”

“I think there’s a lot of trends here that are going to make it easier for people to benefit more from a broader range of educational opportunities.”

The OECD has 34 member countries, and the Education at a Glance report analyses the education systems of these countries, as well as Argentina, Brazil, China, Colombia, Costa Rica, India, Indonesia, Latvia, Lithuania, the Russian Federation, Saudi Arabia and South Africa.

[Source:-The Pie News]

By Adam