Mobility Stats: Mapping Mobility & Open Doors

Two international education organisations, Nuffic from the Netherlands and the Washington based Institute of International Education (IIE) published their international student mobility statistics this week. While Open Doors is being published by IIE already since 1948, the Nuffic publication – Mapping Mobility – was published for the first time in 2010. Although Nuffic published international education statistics before, this is the first one solely focused on higher education. Growth One finding of the Open Doors report was that the influx of international students into the US continued to grow modestly. Compared to the…Read more …

Regulating recruitment agencies

Study abroad for a full degree has developed from an elite to a mass phenomenon. Parallel to this development, we have witnessed a commercialization of international higher education where many institutions have become financially dependent on full fee paying international students. To operate in this (global) market, institutions – and especially the lesser-known ones – now frequently turn to agents and recruiters in order to attract prospective students. Many point to the risks of these third party agents and plea for more regulation or even abolishment. Abolish or regulate? In Inside Higher Ed,…Read more …

Recognition and Mobility in the Bologna Process

Today and tomorrow, the anniversary of the Bologna Process is celebrated. Actually...it is celebrated by most and protested against by some. A consortium of CHEPS, INCHER and ECOTEC was given the task to prepare an independent assessment of the Bologna process. The study was conducted together with experts from the University of Bath, the Bayerisches Staatsinstitut für Hochschulforschung and Nuffic (i.c. myself)). Below is the presentation by Don Westerheijden (CHEPS) of the part I've been working on: recognition and mobility.

The global higher education market

The last edition of the Economist in 2008 included an interesting article on the growth of international education. International education has witnessed an enormous growth in the past decade, a growth that comes with risks and benefits for both developed and developing countries. The 20th century saw a surge in higher education; in the early 21st century, the idea of going abroad to study has become thinkable for ordinary students. In 2006, the most recent year for which figures are available, nearly 3m were enrolled in higher education institutions outside their own countries,…Read more …

Foreign Students and the Global Competition for Talent

The OECD recently published a very interesting report on skilled migration and the diffusion of knowledge: The Global Competition for Talent: Mobility of the Highly Skilled. This publication can be seen as a follow-up of the 2002 report International Mobility of the Highly Skilled. Here's a short summary of the summary: "International mobility of human resources in science and technology is of growing importance and can have important impacts on knowledge creation and diffusion in both receiving and sending countries indicating that it is not necessarily a zero-sum game. Receiving countries benefit from…Read more …

US PhD’s & Chinese Alma Maters

Now here is an interesting fact. I knew that the United States was becoming ever more dependent on foreign PhD students, especially in the so-called STEM fields (Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths). I also knew that an increasing proportion of them come from Asia, and China in particular. But this article in Science surprised me nonetheless: A new study has found that the most likely undergraduate alma mater for those who earned a Ph.D. in 2006 from a U.S. university was … Tsinghua University. Peking University, its neighbor in the Chinese capital, ranks second.…Read more …

Legrain on immigrants

Tonight I attended a lecture (in the Sydney Ideas Series) from Philippe Legrain on his latest book: Immigrants: your country needs them. It was also the occasion of his Sydney book launch but luckily - in this open world - I ordered the book a month ago from the UK (and thereby avoided the high Australian book prices).   Legrain's lecture will be available on the University of Sydney podcasts site, but here's a short impression of both book and lecture. In short, Legrain's message is: Let them in! Because it's better for…Read more …

Greek resistance

More than six thousand students and academics marched through the centre of Athens last night to oppose government plans to reform the country's higher education system and allow private universities to operate in Greece.The protests reflect the rising tension over the reforms proposed by government, which would break a major taboo in Greece by allowing private universities to operate under state supervision and to issue state-recognized degrees. Academic staff began a three-day strike Wednesday, and have threatened open-ended strikes from next week. State primary and secondary school teachers held a sympathy work stoppage.…Read more …

More Europeanisation

On the 24th of January, a so-called 'letter of formal notice' has been sent by the European Commission to the governments of Austria and Belgium. The letter concerns the 'Europeanisation by stealth' that I have addressed before here for the case of Austria and here for the case of Belgium. These governments thought they found a solution for the high influx of foreign students (respectively German and French) in some of their universities. European law - Article 12 of the EC Treaty - prohibits discrimination on the basis of nationality. In Austria, they…Read more …

Retention of Foreign Graduates

Some months ago, the Vienna based International Centre for Migration Policy Development (ICMPD) published a study on admission and retention policies towards foreign students.Much has been written about the way in which states and universities have promoted international mobility of students and international recruiting. This study looks at what happens with these foreign students after they graduate. This is particularly interesting considering that more and more industrialised countries are looking for ways to promote immigration of highly skilled professionals to help boost their economy.The study covers the following countries in detail: Australia, Austria,…Read more …

Whose European Higher Education?

Last Month, the Dutch Central Planning Agency (CPB; international name: Netherlands Bureau for Economic Policy Analysis) published a report on the role of Europe in higher education: "Higher education: Time for coordination on a European level?" (in English). More specifically, they asked the question whether there are valid reasons for more European (as opposed to national) coordination of higher education. Their final conclusion is NO: there is little empirical data that supports a shift towards European coordination of higher education. The authors claim that neither economies of scale, nor the existence of external…Read more …

Higher Education and Europe (again)

Last Wednesday, 1500 students and teachers protested in Brussels against reforms to the Belgian Francophone higher education system. The reforms will restrict the number of foreign students in particular degrees like veterinary science and physiotherapy. Many French students currently study in Belgium because they are required to go through entrance exams in France.The Times Higher Education Supplement has an article on the issue (subscription required):The law, due to be introduced in September, is intended to cut the number of non-Belgians accepted on certain courses. In veterinary medicine, 86% of university students enrolled in…Read more …

Overseas Students Returning?

The talk about crisis in international student numbers in the UK and the US six months ago, may have been al little premature. The UK and the US are the major destinations for overseas students but due to stricter visa regulations after 9/11 and the London Bombings, the number of foreign students were dropping. Australia remained a popular destination and continental Europe slightly increased its position.The NYT and the Guardian now report that the students are slowly returning. British universities recruited 6% more students from outside the UK last year. Although good news…Read more …

The power of plumbers

That poor, backward, traditional place called Europe has been a popular topic in the last couple of days, in the official media as well as in several blogs. Dan Drezner's blog and Crooked Timber both have a post on this issue, mainly responding to Cato Unbound (Is Old Europe Doomed?) and Fareed Zakaria's piece in the Washington Post (The Decline And Fall Of Europe). Friday, the International Herald Tribune contributed to the discussion, claiming that Europe's economies are in the doldrums.Of course I understand that bloggers and columnists need catchy titles. And I…Read more …

Europeanisation by stealth

The Chronicle reports on another clear illustration of how the European Union, and especially the European Court of Justice (ECJ), affects national higher education policies. Formally, the EU has no authority in the field of higher education. Yet, through spill-overs and ECJ litigation it profoundly impacts higher ed.Until last year, Austria was the only country that did not have a cap on the number of students in medical schools. Everyone who finished high school and passed the 'matura' was able to attend medical school. Most EU countries had such caps in order to…Read more …