Document Details

Title Who are international students? Thinking about student diversity beyond “international”
Author Richard Garrett - Director, OBHE


Who are international students? That may sound like a simple question, but the answer is often circular. Countries and institutions that compete to enroll international students routinely report their number, nationality, level and field of study and perhaps their financial contribution to the region or country, but it hard to find much more detail about their background and circumstances. The word “international” is a demographic marker in its own right, but one that tends to close off further questions.

To study for an entire degree in another country remains an elite option, driven by academic exceptionalism but also financial means. Out of an estimated 180 million higher education students in the world, fewer than 3% obtain a degree abroad. Does this mean that we should not expect much socio-economic diversity from such a rarefied population? When international students represent much-needed revenue for cash-strapped institutions, should we expect leaders to care?

Date 02/03/2015
Region(s) All Regions
Countries International
Theme(s) Transnational Education (TNE) Models

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