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Trends in International Student Mobility (postsecondary focus)

3/2/2012 12:00:00 AM

TOPICS: Context of International Student Mobility * International Enrollment Trends in the U.S. * Source Countries * Emergence of New Destination States in the U.S. * Growth at the Bachelor's Level and in ESL and Non-Degree Programs * Emerging Recruitment Practices

According to the UNESCO Institute of Statistics (UIS), international students are defined as those “who have crossed a national or territorial border for the purposes of education and are now enrolled outside their country of origin.” An annual report published by UIS reveals that the global mobility of students increased to 3.4 million students in 2009, up from 2.1 million students in 2002.

The four leading destination countries – the U.S., the UK, Australia, and Canada – all witnessed sizable growth from 2002 to 2009 (see Figure 1). Canada saw the biggest percentage gains, with enrollments increasing by 67% (from 52,650 in 2002 to 87,798 in 2009), followed by the UK and Australia with 62% (from 227,273 to 368,968) and 43% (from 179,619 to 257,637) respectively. Although U.S. enrollment grew at a slower rate of 13% (from 582,996 to 660,581 students), it remained the leading destination in absolute numbers and enrolled approximately one-fifth of all mobile students worldwide in 2009. The most recent data from the Institute of International Education (IIE, Open Doors 2011) showed an increase of 4.7% (from 690,923 to 723,277) in international student enrollment in the 2010-11 academic year compared to the previous year....