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More than half of all foreign students worldwide are enrolled in Europe. Over the past nine years, their overall number has risen by over 80%, to more than 1.5 million. The main growth has been with non-European source countries, particularly in Asia. But about one quarter of these students have not been mobile – they lived already in their country of study, even though they held a foreign passport. And numbers of foreign students differ radically between European destinations. They are very high in Cyprus, the UK, Switzerland and Austria – but very low in Poland and Slovenia, for example. Outflows are also unevenly distributed – and go mainly to other European countries. Less than 15% of European study abroad students leave their own continent.
These are some headline findings of the new study Mapping mobility in European higher education, which has now been published electronically by the European Commission, for whom it was produced. It was written by ACA and INCHER (University of Kassel), in cooperation with ACA members DAAD and CampusFrance, as well as HIS (Hannover). Mapping mobility is a sequel to ACA’s landmark EURODATA study of 2006. Like EURODATA, it provides an in-depth and up-to-date account of student mobility into, out of and between 32 European countries. Importantly, it makes a distinction between foreign-nationality and genuinely mobile students, and between study for a whole degree (diploma mobility) and temporary (credit) mobility. The study also tracks the efforts of the international data collectors OECD, UNESCO and EUROSTAT in terms of differentiation and quality of mobility data, and it sums up the globally available knowledge on staff mobility. Next to providing an overview on all of these issues, the study includes in-depth case studies of 11 European countries.
Following on to the electronic publication, Mapping mobility will appear in book form in December of 2011, in the series Dok&Mat of ACA member DAAD. This publication will be available free of charge. We will alert readers of the ACA Newsletter – Education Europe once it appears.European Commission