Which countries around the world will become the perfect destinations for international students in the years to come?
Knowing the general regional statistical data is not enough for making an informed choice about partner institutions and building an extensive portfolio of international students. The more specific you are, the higher chance you would have to make the leap towards a truly diverse student mix and an inclusive multicultural community on campus.
So, who moves where and from which countries?
Today we are going to discuss several countries that we believe will be some of the main contesters in an already competitive field. The data we’ve used comes from the UNESCO Institute for Statistics.
A total of 23,044 students went abroad from Poland to study in countries such as Germany (5,772) and United Kingdom (5,232). Less usual destination choices were France (1,820), United States (1,513) and Italy (1,395). Poland is slightly more popular as a destination country with 27,770 international students choosing to study there. Out of the number mentioned above, most students came from Eastern Europe and more specifically Ukraine (9,485) and Belarus (3,413), followed by Scandinavians with Norwegians (1,369) and Swedish students (1,063).
Almost twice as popular as a destination for (82,450) than as a supplier (47,998) of international students, Italy offers unique opportunities for international student recruiters. The country’s centuries-old tradition of quality education explains on one hand the fact that so many students choose to come and study there, and on the other – the lack of mobility for local students. When Italians do choose to go study abroad, it is usually in neighbouring European countries (United Kingdom, Austria, and France all get from 6,095 to 8,238 Italian students). As a destination, Italy is very attractive to Albanians (11,637), Romanians (6,552), Chinese students (9,788) and students from the Islamic Republic of Iran (3,637).
A small country with big ambitions, Ecuador is proud of sending many of its students to Spain (3,439), the United States (2,200) and Cuba (1,557), totalling to some 11,109 outbound students on a yearly basis. At the same time, Ecuador still hasn’t been fully explored as a destination country: only 3,376 students studied here in 2013, mostly from Colombia (1,506).
The obvious top choice for Peruvian students who wish to pursue education abroad is Spain (3,490), followed by the United States (2,430). In total, 14,204 outbound students were exploring various regions of Europe, North and South America. Unfortunately, there is insufficient data about Peru as a destination country. Hopefully, some will be available soon.
With only 3,001 students choosing Chile as a destination, it seems that this country has just recently opened its doors for international students. Neighbouring Colombia is the most promising inbound source for Chilean universities, with 1,337 students ready to enrol. On the other hand, Chileans are open, curious and hungry for education, as displayed by 8,937 Chilean students going abroad with first choice the United States (2,248) and second – Spain (1,316).
Similarly to Peru, there isn’t sufficient data available for Bolivia to show how many foreign students choose it as a destination country. But we do know that 9,140 Bolivian students worked hard towards getting into universities abroad with top choices Cuba (3,804) and Spain (1,285).
This Southeast Asian country is not humble at all when it comes to sending talent to some of the best universities around the globe: a stunning 53,546 Vietnamese students went international and brought their experiences to countries all over the world with leaders the United States (15,406) and Australia (12,383). Data on Vietnam as a destination country is surprising as well, but in a less exciting way: only 2,540 international students chose to study there, half of whom (1,442) from Lao PDR.
Iran shows a tendency similar to that of Vietnam: 50,053 students go studying abroad while only 11,288 choose the country as a higher education destination. Most Iranians go to United States (8,368). Italy, Canada, Malaysia and Germany have around 3,000 Iranian students each. As a destination, Iran is most attractive to students from Afghanistan (9,033).
The most popular choice abroad is Russia (35,106), which takes the biggest volume of the total of 48,875 outbound Kazakhstani students. At the same time, Kazakhstan also shows a lot of promise as a regional inbound mobility leader with 19,336 students from abroad deciding to study there. Those include Georgians (6,639), closely followed up by students from Uzbekistan (5,588), Russian Federation (1,644) and Turkmenistan (1,090).
For a country its size, Bulgaria has a very good balance between students going abroad (24,625) and students coming in (11,282). Most Bulgarians choose education in Germany (6186) and the United Kingdom (6,051). The country typically hosts students from neighbouring Turkey (3,986) and Greece (2,515).
Morocco’s relationship with France results in a very productive mobility experience: 23,617 out of the total of 38,599 outbound students choose France as their destination. No data was available on the total volume of inbound students Morocco receives, but hopefully some numbers will be revealed soon.
In the upcoming year, each of these countries will be home to an ETN Focus Workshop. We hope you will be interested in joining us in exploring the opportunities to collaborate with carefully selected qualified local agents and diversify your institution’s international student mix with talent from these countries.
ETN Focus Workshops are educational events aimed at diversifying your international student body. We connect local student recruitment experts with universities and institutions from all over the world.
If you are interested in recruiting international students from less explored markets, check out our events.