The face of international education is changing as the world becomes more and more complex. The number of international students is growing, set to hit 8 million by 2025. The leading destinations for international students are shifting away from traditional frontrunners like the United States and United Kingdom. Instead, students are opting to go to university in countries like Canada and Australia, and European nations like Portugal. Countries are developing new strategies to serve global students, like international partnerships and technological advancements. Last year, Rahul Choudaha published an article exploring the phases, or waves, of international education in order to predict its future.
The first wave of international education was a demand for highly skilled post-graduate students, especially those in science and technology. In order to attract talent, universities competed with each other and provided scholarships. This wave shifted after September 2001, when new visa requirements restricted student mobility to the United States. The second wave began with the impact of the global financial recession; universities and countries wanted to recruit international students again. The third wave, beginning around 2014, comes off the back of global trends of nationalism and uncertainty. These movements mean that global student enrolment is on the rise in Asian and continental European schools.
Choudaha's three waves makes the broad implications of international education clear; student mobility both reflects and drives international change. What can the past waves of global education tell us about its future? As we mentioned last week, there is evidence that studying abroad reduces biases between groups. Learning in a global setting can fight against anti-immigrant rhetoric and politics. It's more important than ever to broaden your experiences and cultural knowledge and study abroad.