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Global flow of students changing direction in 2015

The opportunity to study in a different country or city is now available to more students than ever before. nestpick takes a look at the global flow of students around the world, and the changes that have occurred in recent years.

What is changing?

Change 1: How many students are choosing exchange?

Based on a new report from the international rental consultancy Savills (2014), the global number of international students will rise from 3 million in 2011 to 3.9 million within the next 10 years, which is an increase of around 30 percent.

Change 2: Where are they coming from?

Currently it is estimated that 53 percent of all international students are originating from Asia; in particular China and India. According to statistics from the UNESCO: Institute of Statistics (2013) China had 694 000 students studying abroad, India had 189 500 and the Republic of Korea had 123 700.

Change 3: Where are they going?

The UK remains one of the most popular places to study with abroad students each year about 427 686, with 76,913 of these coming from China. While traditional destination countries such as the US remain strong for students seeking a high quality education, new countries and regions are also competing for a share of those participating. In 2012, five destination countries hosted nearly one-half of total mobile students: the US (18 percent), UK (11 percent), France (7 percent), Australia (6 percent) and Germany at (5 percent). nestpick currently has nests available for rent in two of these countries; the UK and France. Other traditional destinations such as Australia are now rivaled by Asian newcomers such as China and Singapore that may be a more affordable alternative for students, particularly those limited by financial constraints.

Change 4: Why are more students choosing to study overseas?

The number of students choosing to do an exchange for part or all of their studies continues to grow as borders become more transient. Central Asia now has the most mobile student population, with numbers experiencing a steady rise in the number of students opting to learn abroad. This group tripled from 2003 to 2013, with the outbound number more than doubling. In some smaller countries such as Luxembourg there are more studying abroad than at home. Although there are approximately 42 percent of the population of tertiary education age enrolled, about one third of these studied their entire degree abroad. This suggests that domestic tertiary institutions have not kept up with the growth of students pursuing education at university.

What does the future hold?

These statistics are important and demonstrate a definite shift in the global flow of students which is sure to continue with the rapid growth currently experienced in Asia and as more young people endeavour to gain higher education.

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