Institute of International Education and AIFS Foundation Release
"Higher Education on the Move: New Developments in Global Mobility"
New book is second in series of Global Education Research Reports
A new book released today explores the effects of recent developments in higher education, the world economy, and government policy on global student and scholar mobility. The publication, Higher Education On The Move: New Developments In Global Mobility, is the second in a new series of Global Education Research Reports published by the Institute of International Education with support from the AIFS Foundation.
The Institute has a long history of producing timely policy research reports focused on critical developments in global higher education mobility. This latest book explores the rapid growth of the scale and nature of mobility, with analysis of specific developments and strategies world-wide that have contributed to this expansion. Contributors for this volume represent a diversity of expertise, world regions and perspectives, including national and international experts in the field of international education, as well as others, from institutions such as the RAND Corporation, who bring a different and valuable non-academic perspective to mobility issues.
Authors describe phenomena including the emergence of global rankings, liberalization of the higher education sector through GATS, competitiveness in science and technology, and the Bologna process, and ask how these processes affect the most commonly discussed aspect of international education?€”the movement of students and scholars across national borders. These essays offer higher education policymakers and practitioners the opportunity to think beyond everyday administrative and practical concerns to consider how broad-based global factors influence mobility.
Global higher education mobility is a rapidly growing phenomenon, with over 2.9 million students seeking an education outside their home country. This number represents a 57 percent increase since 1999 and the greatest surge in international student enrollments in recent decades. According to an introductory chapter by IIE's Chief Operating Officer, Peggy Blumenthal, and Director of Research and Evaluation, Rajika Bhandari, the dramatically rising number of mobile students can be partly attributed to the worldwide growth in higher education. Globally, domestic higher education enrollment in 2005 increased to 144 million students, up from 68 million in 1991, with countries in Asia and the Pacific seeing the largest growth. Some rapidly growing Asian countries such as Malaysia and China have recently almost doubled their higher education enrollments. At the same time, these burgeoning higher education populations have put enormous pressure on the higher education systems of many developing countries, especially at the post-graduate level, leading large numbers of students to seek higher education outside of their home country. India is one such example where the growth of the college-age population has outpaced the capacity of the country's existing higher education institutions. There remains an enormous unmet and growing demand for tertiary-level education and a substantial capacity worldwide to absorb more international students.
According to Blumenthal and Bhandari, "Not only has the number of internationally mobile students grown, but the overall context of global mobility?€”both in terms of who is going where, and the mix of host and sending countries?€”has also changed significantly. Most countries now view international academic mobility and educational exchanges as critical components for sharing knowledge, building intellectual capital and remaining competitive in a globalizing world."
"Our goal is to focus attention on the trends and dynamics driving the circulation of students and scholars across national boundaries," commented IIE President Allan Goodman. "The challenge to each higher education institution is to answer the questions of who, what, where, when, and how such mobility can best be promoted and why, fundamentally, it is desirable. In publishing this report, we aim to inform discussion as an increasing number of colleges and universities are making international a more central part of what it means to be educated."
AIFS President William L. Gertz noted that any discussion related to global student mobility must be seen in the context of the current worldwide financial crisis. "While it is quite clear that students have the desire to be educated abroad and that educators and administrators are working hard to eliminate a wide variety of barriers (e.g., credit transfer, university calendars, course offerings), it is also apparent that financial considerations will be the number one factor limiting student mobility," said Mr. Gertz. "However, we believe there is much momentum building which will enable student mobility to increase after the downturn ends. National governments and private sector organizations will play a role in building a globally educated generation, but it is the students themselves who will make student mobility a reality."
The Institute of International Education has taken an active role in helping to quantify the movement of students and scholars across borders for higher education. Its annual Open Doors survey reports the numbers of international students and scholars in the United States and numbers of Americans studying abroad, with support from the U.S. Department of State's Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs, and IIE's Project Atlas looks at these flows on a global basis. This new publication seeks to expand the range of information on global academic mobility available to those who are interested in the trends and the outcomes on a policy level.
In addition to Forewords by Allan Goodman and William Gertz and an introduction by Peggy Blumenthal and Rajika Bhandari, chapter authors include: N. V. Varghese, International Institute for Educational Planning, UNESCO; Sabine O'Hara, Council for International Exchange of Scholars; Bernd W?¤chter, Academic Cooperation Association; Roberta Maierhofer and Ulla Kriebernegg, University of Graz; Ellen Hazelkorn, Dublin Institute of Technology; Titus Galama and James Hosek, RAND Corporation; Jane Knight, University of Toronto. IIE's Rajika Bhandari and Shepherd Laughlin edited the publication. The book is available from IIEBooks at www.iiebooks.org.