IIE Networker - Fall 2008 - (Page 22)

Feature Measuring International Student Mobility Trends In and Out of Africa By Roshen Kishun Introduction International students form a critical element of the international dimension of higher education and are an important component of international education. The “market” for international students is one of the most dynamic of all world markets; in the last 10 years, it has seen such an unprecedented growth that governments from a range of countries now prioritize involvement in this market through their own Ministries of Education or dedicated international education promotional agencies (Kemp, 2007). The potential benefits of having international students are linked to skill migration, economic growth, public diplomacy and, more importantly, to research and innovation for a “knowledge society.” This paper analyzes the current trends in the movement of international students into and out of Africa. A primary goal of the paper is to focus attention on the lack of reliable data generated from within the continent (“internal sources”). The second goal is to propose that Pan African statistics on the mobility of African students are consistent with those collected elsewhere in the world. While the analysis is based on limited data from a sample of African countries, the aim is to sensitize governments, universities, and other organizations to the value of collecting reliable student data and to highlight the inherent value and critical importance of student mobility in the higher education sector of the continent. considers the motivation for changing countries to be for the purpose of formal education; hence, international students are not permanent residents in the host country. This definition may be particularly adequate for the African context as the majority of students would seek “formal education” and not necessarily seek opportunities to add “an international dimension” to their higher education experience. External data are used to describe general outbound mobility. The data are examined in two streams. The first describes general outbound mobility, which is expressed as the number of African students from a given country or region that are located in another country outside of the continent, while the second stream describes what I have termed “colonial legacy movement.” A unique characteristic of the outbound mobility is the large number of students from sub-Saharan Africa who are mobile. The remaining three categories examine internal data available from Egypt, Nigeria, Botswana, and South Africa of (a) students who are pursuing their studies outside of their countries but at institutions in these countries, and (b) non-African students coming to these countries from outside of the continent, and (c) the regional trends that are influenced by unique historical and local factors that characterize the continent. The regional trends are inevitably linked to the colonial legacy influences. from 12 African countries: Botswana, Egypt, Ethiopia, Ghana, Kenya, Mauritius, Mozambique, Nigeria, Senegal, South Africa, Tanzania, and Uganda. Although these statistics are still somewhat imprecise, they provide a picture of the extent of the destinations of African students. The 2006 figures show that the top four sending countries from Africa are as follows: Nigeria (15138); Kenya (14123); Senegal (10677); and Botswana (9471). Colonial Legacy Movement – Outbound Mobility One of the striking features of the student mobility on the African continent is its regional character, particularly how intercountry mobility reproduces patterns of colonization. Southern and Eastern Africa tended to have a British colonial influence, and West Africa was largely under the influence of France, while Central and North Africa were a scramble between France and Germany. According to Maringe and Carter (2007), African students tend to migrate to countries formerly included as colonies of the same European power as their own, largely because of derived cultural capital, language facility, and a somewhat shared history. Thus, post-colonial associations are a significant influence on international student mobility. There are, of course exceptions to the colonial pattern, such as Cameroon, Eritrea, Ethiopia, and Somalia. But France, the region’s single most important host country, and Belgium are the preferred destinations for Francophone students from Benin, Gabon, Comoros, Congo, DRC, Côte d’Ivoire, Madagascar, and Senegal. Each of these countries sends more than 2,000 students abroad every year. Students from Lusopohone countries, such as Angola, Cape Verde, and Mozambique, tend to go to Portugal. After South Africa, Mobility Trends In examining mobility trends, IIE’s Project Atlas’s definition of an international student is “one who undertakes all or part of his/her higher education experience in a country other than the home country” (Project Atlas, 2004). The definition External Data: Outbound Mobility Data on the number of African students that study outside of the continent can be tracked from information provided by agencies like UNESCO, OECD, and Open Doors. Table 1 displays the numbers and destinations of outgoing students

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of IIE Networker - Fall 2008

IIE Networker - Fall 2008
Message from Allan E. Goodman
Up Front: The International Education Diary
The International Dimension of Higher Education: Status, Challenges, and Prospects in Africa
Internationalization in Africa In Relation to Other World Regions
Measuring International Student Mobility Trends: In and Out of Africa
IIENetworker University President’s Interview Series A Conversation with President Mohammad H. Qayoumi, California State University, East Bay
Country Profile: Nigeria
Scholars & Research
Africa-U.S. Higher Education Initiative
Joint Degree Programs
Advising Students
Study Abroad
The Browser: Index of Advertisers

IIE Networker - Fall 2008