IIE Network - Fall 2013 - (Page 46)

BEYOND THE NUMBERS The Who, How and What of Global Student Mobility By Raisa Belyavina and Rajika Bhandari THE NEXT “BIG thing” in student mobility is beyond the numbers. During the past two decades, there has been a steady increase in students pursuing tertiary education outside of their home countries: from 1.3 million in 1990 to 4.3 in 2011 (OECD, 2013). This article focuses on the story behind the numbers: the who, how and what of global student mobility. Our observations are based on the decades of experience that the Institute has in researching student mobility both within the U.S. (through Open Doors and related projects), but also globally through our Project Atlas network of 20-plus countries. Who? There are two players in mobility: the stakeholders that facilitate mobility, and the demographics of students that participate in international education. One recent development in this area has been the increasing role of governments, a trend that we believe will only grow. In 2005, the government of Saudi Arabia launched the King Abdullah Scholarship Program which, by 2020, will have sent hundreds of thousands of Saudi students overseas to enroll in undergraduate and graduate degree programs and to pursue English language study. In 2011, the Brazil government initiated its Scientific Mobility Program, using study abroad scholarships to stimulate national development. Tens of thousands of Brazilian students will benefit from the exchange program, which requires them to return home to complete their degrees at home institutions and contribute to Brazil’s growing economy. While the idea of running a national scholarship program for study abroad is not new, what is new is the unprecedented scale and human resource potential of such programs to transform national and local economies. Regarding the demographics of globally mobile students, we focus on one key development that hasn’t received sufficient attention: the mobility of secondary school students. An increasing number of students are undertaking 46 their first international education experience at the secondary or high-school level, a trend that is an early indicator of future growth (or decline) in student mobility at the postsecondary or tertiary level. For example, the rising number of East Asian students enrolled in U.S. high schools might signal their intent to pursue a higher education degree in the U.S. Thus, to better understand and predict student mobility in our colleges and universities, it is important to also pay attention to what’s happening at the secondary level. There are two players in mobility: the stakeholders that facilitate mobility, and the demographics of students that participate in international education. How? This century’s boom in technology ushered in an era of instant access to information. Learning and education have changed dramatically with noticeable impacts on student experience, pedagogy and academic mobility. Most notably, massive open online courses (MOOCs), with upwards of 180,000 students enrolling in a single course, have changed the landscape of higher education. In the near future, more international students are likely to ‘sample’ coursework from different countries and higher education institutions before they decide where to study abroad. Social media and education platforms will also facilitate collaboration and knowledgesharing like never before. Many developing countries are also leveraging online learning to increase access to higher education for traditionally under-served populations. volunteering projects and work experiences that are both shorter and more outcomesbased. Among U.S. students, for example, in 2006/07 there were 8,584 engaged in work, internships and volunteering abroad; this number has almost tripled in the past four years to reach a total of 25,080 students in 2010/11. Brazil’s Scientific Mobility Program also has a summer internship component to complement students’ academic pursuits. There are many important vectors in student mobility that we haven’t addressed in this article, which merit a detailed exploration—including the skilled migration debate unfolding in many top host countries, including the U.S., and its impact on student mobility; various push and pull factors that motivate students to study abroad; and the rise of global campuses and their impact on mobility. But one thing is certain about our field: in the years to come, new ideas in technology, the demands of global labor markets and increasing pressure on governments to provide educational opportunities for their citizens will change the dynamics of how globally mobile students choose to engage with the world, what types of educational experiences they pursue, where they come from and where they go. ■ What? What international students are studying and for how long has also changed. While we know that more U.S. college students go abroad for short-term study programs than for any other duration, it is interesting to note a growing interest in this type of shortterm, non-degree study among all globally mobile students. For instance, Open Doors data shows an increase in the numbers of non-degree international students. With the global emphasis on intercultural and professional experience, students are seeking opportunities abroad such as internships, Rajika Bhandari is deputy vice president, research and evaluation, and Raisa Belyavina is senior research officer with the Center for Academic Mobility Research at the Institute of International Education. www.iie.org/iienetworker http://www.iie.org/iienetworker

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of IIE Network - Fall 2013

A Message from Allan E. Goodman
Megatrends: Predicting the Future of International Education
Considering Study Abroad’s Past to Prepare for its Future
The Promise of International Education: Building a More Just and Elevated Civil Society
Global Research and Commercialization: An Under-the-Radar Next Big Thing
Clustering Innovation and Industry: New Opportunities for Europe
Connecting the Dots: Integrating Engagement with International Stakeholders
The Rise of Real-time, Online International Recruitment
Hold on to Your Hats, MOOCs... Here Come the TOQUES!
The Global Youth Engagement Platform: A Peace Corps for the 21st Century
Growing Globally Competent Students to Achieve True Internationalization
Beyond Ourselves: Embracing Our Global Responsibilities
India: Expansion, Equity, Excellence
The Growing World of Collaborative Internationalization: Taking Partnerships to the Next Level
From Multi-national Universities to Education Hubs to Edu-glomerates?
Advertisers Index
Beyond the Numbers: The Who, How and What of Global Student Mobility

IIE Network - Fall 2013