The Growth of International Student Mobility Is Faltering

Dirk Van Damme


After years of impressive growth, the number of international students seems to stabilize around 4.6 million. No further increase has been observed in recent years. Possible explanations include changes on the demand side, in particular the quantitative and qualitative growth of domestic higher education in countries such as China and India. Also, recent evolutions in the political climate in destination countries seem to have a deterring effect. International students are confronted with a less welcoming environment
and generally hostile attitudes toward immigration. As a result, international competition for fee-paying international students seems to slow down significantly.


International education; student mobility; demand

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