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OECD Education at a Glance 2015

OECD’s flagship series on education statistics, Education at a Glance, has been mapping education systems around the world since 1992. The 2015 edition, released on 24 November, covers all 34 OECD countries and 12 partner countries. The report highlights the progress made in expanding access to higher education over the past 25 years, with around 41% of 25-34 year-olds now holding a tertiary qualification.

The data on internationalisation show that degree mobility is on the rise, with the number of international students increasing five-fold over the past three decades from 0.8 million in 1975 to 4.5 million in 2012. The largest exporter of international students is Asia, with 53% of international students in the OECD area hailing from Asian countries. Chinese students represent 22% of the international student population, most frequently choosing the United States, United Kingdom, Australia, Canada, Japan and Korea as their destination. India is the second largest source of international students (6%), half of whom flock to the United States. 

In terms of welcoming international students, the OECD countries enrol three times as many international students as they send abroad. Luxembourg once again leads the way with 44% of its student population being international, followed by Australia, United Kingdom, Switzerland, Austria and New Zealand, with each boasting a share of 15% or more international students in their tertiary education systems. Meanwhile, Chile, Mexico, Poland and Slovenia have the lowest proportion of international students at less than 3%. The report shows that the more advanced the degree level, the more heterogeneous the student body is: only 6% of students enrolled in bachelor programmes are international, while 14% of students in  master programmes are classified as international, and this figure rises to 24% for doctoral programmes. As in the previous years, the most popular study programmes among international students in the OECD area are social sciences, business and law. Education at a Glance 2015