International Educator - January/February 2018 - 28

wealth is highly dependent on the fluctuating
price of oil. Most of
the populations of the
other seven nations are either
tiny, like the nation of San Marino,
which had 33,203 people in 2016, or-
like Norway-growing only very slowly.
So U.S. institutions' interest in more rapidly
growing populations in newly middle-class nations
would be natural. Or as Vedder says, "It wouldn't be a
bad time for a forward-looking American university to
start investing in some of these countries in terms of
their recruiting."

Defining the Global Middle Class
Hans de Wit, a research professor of higher education and the director of Boston College's Center for
International Higher Education, notes, however, that
such recruiting faces significant obstacles: Data from
the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and
Development (OECD) and others indicate a flattening
in the growth of the number of international students,
as well as an increase in educational offerings, largely private, in the emerging and developing world, de Wit says.
"OECD and others have also observed a trend
toward study in the region itself, both in Africa, Asia,

and Latin America, and also a trend in mobility from
Africa to Asia," he says. "This might be explained by the
fact that the emerging middle class in those regions are
not having the means to send their kids to the developed world, with high costs of living and tuition."
In fact, "middle class" does not necessarily connote the
same amount of relative discretionary spending to families abroad that it does to families in the United States.
Earning between $11 and $110 per day can land
someone in the global middle class, notes Homi
Kharas, a senior fellow and deputy director in the
Global Economy and Development program at the
Brookings Institution, in his 2017 working paper The
Unprecedented Expansion of the Global Middle Class:
An Update.
Despite the recent waves of international students
arriving from China-and to a lesser extent India-
with ample spending money, they are not necessarily
representative of those populations' average middle-class
buying power. The middle class in both countries is "still
pretty darn poor by American standards," Vedder says.
That said, Vedder expects that to change in the coming years as countries continue to post 5 percent, 6 percent, and 7 percent growth in incomes each year. "Seven
percent economic growth means a doubling every
decade," he says. That may represent an opportunity for
state universities and smaller regional institutions.

Mapping Global Middle Class Growth
Huge Projected Growth in Asia: Of the
next billion people to enter the global
middle class, Brooking's Kharas estimates that a whopping 88 percent will
live in Asia. That number will likely break
down, he adds, to 380 million Indians,
350 million Chinese, and another 210
million people from elsewhere in the
continent. "It is no surprise that our
international students are coming disproportionately from Asia, with China,
India, and Korea comprising 43 percent
of the pool," notes a Boston University
global higher education strategy.
Africa Has Potential: "I see a great
future in Africa," says Vedder. The
continent, of course, has had very low
gross domestic product numbers and
income growth until the past few years,
when things have started to change and
some countries have posted 5 percent
sustained economic growth over a decade. "I wouldn't rule out the possibility

28  

INTERNATIONAL EDUCATOR J A N.+ F E B .18

of some sub-Saharan African countries
starting to become major exporters of
students to the United States," Vedder
says. Nigeria's huge population, and
other smaller but politically stable countries, like Botswana, also appear poised
to grow economically. Many, as former
English colonies, also have good Englishlanguage traditions.
Latin America Rising: Nations like
Chile and Costa Rica are small but
prosperous. "These are little countries population-wise relative to the
big East, but they are potential markets," Vedder says. "If I were trying to
recruit students, I might go to one of
those countries rather than the more
crowded markets of India and China."
In Latin America, however, as in the
Middle East, what can appear to be a
sure future bet might actually be quite
volatile: The technology revolution can
hurt countries who depend on oil for

their incomes, and other commoditydependent economies are also risky.
"The price of sugar can change. The
price of coffee can change," Vedder
cautions. "The foreign market is one of
a few lifelines that American universities have, but it is a volatile lifeline. It's
not one that's assured."



Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of International Educator - January/February 2018

From the Desk of
Frontlines
In Brief
Global Spotlight: Malaysia
Quick Questions
Feature: Recruiting Farther Upstream: U.S. Institutions Are Exploring New Opportunities Among International High School Students
Feature: CASE STUDY: The Business of Global Engagement
Feature: Middle Class Rising: As the Number of Families with Discretionary Income Grows, So Do Prospects for More International Students
Education Abroad
International Student Affairs
International Enrollment
International Education Leadership
Forum
In Focus
Feature: Minimizing Risk, Maximizing Results
Advertiser Listings & Index
International Educator - January/February 2018 - BB1
International Educator - January/February 2018 - BB2
International Educator - January/February 2018 - Cover1
International Educator - January/February 2018 - Cover2
International Educator - January/February 2018 - 1
International Educator - January/February 2018 - 2
International Educator - January/February 2018 - 3
International Educator - January/February 2018 - 4
International Educator - January/February 2018 - 5
International Educator - January/February 2018 - 6
International Educator - January/February 2018 - 7
International Educator - January/February 2018 - From the Desk of
International Educator - January/February 2018 - Frontlines
International Educator - January/February 2018 - In Brief
International Educator - January/February 2018 - 11
International Educator - January/February 2018 - 12
International Educator - January/February 2018 - 13
International Educator - January/February 2018 - Global Spotlight: Malaysia
International Educator - January/February 2018 - 15
International Educator - January/February 2018 - Quick Questions
International Educator - January/February 2018 - 17
International Educator - January/February 2018 - Feature: Recruiting Farther Upstream: U.S. Institutions Are Exploring New Opportunities Among International High School Students
International Educator - January/February 2018 - 19
International Educator - January/February 2018 - 20
International Educator - January/February 2018 - 21
International Educator - January/February 2018 - Feature: CASE STUDY: The Business of Global Engagement
International Educator - January/February 2018 - 23
International Educator - January/February 2018 - 24
International Educator - January/February 2018 - 25
International Educator - January/February 2018 - Feature: Middle Class Rising: As the Number of Families with Discretionary Income Grows, So Do Prospects for More International Students
International Educator - January/February 2018 - 27
International Educator - January/February 2018 - 28
International Educator - January/February 2018 - 29
International Educator - January/February 2018 - Education Abroad
International Educator - January/February 2018 - 31
International Educator - January/February 2018 - International Student Affairs
International Educator - January/February 2018 - 33
International Educator - January/February 2018 - International Enrollment
International Educator - January/February 2018 - 35
International Educator - January/February 2018 - International Education Leadership
International Educator - January/February 2018 - 37
International Educator - January/February 2018 - Forum
International Educator - January/February 2018 - 39
International Educator - January/February 2018 - In Focus
International Educator - January/February 2018 - Cover3
International Educator - January/February 2018 - Cover4
International Educator - January/February 2018 - SCover1
International Educator - January/February 2018 - SCover2
International Educator - January/February 2018 - S3
International Educator - January/February 2018 - Feature: Minimizing Risk, Maximizing Results
International Educator - January/February 2018 - S5
International Educator - January/February 2018 - S6
International Educator - January/February 2018 - S7
International Educator - January/February 2018 - S8
International Educator - January/February 2018 - S9
International Educator - January/February 2018 - Advertiser Listings & Index
International Educator - January/February 2018 - SCover3
International Educator - January/February 2018 - SCover4
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