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One of the most awaited publications on education statistics every year, OECD’s Education at a glance, has released its latest edition on 12 September. The 2017 report covers all 35 OECD countries and 11 partner countries, among which emerging economies like the People’s Republic of China, India and Brazil. This year the volume mainly focuses on fields of study, examining the relations between the qualifications obtained in these fields, either at secondary or tertiary level, and their respective labour market outcomes. For the first time, the publication also devotes a chapter to the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), evaluating the state of play within the OECD countries in achieving the SDG targets.
When it comes to internationalisation of HE and international student mobility, the publication shows that there is a tight correlation between the level of education and the degree of internationalisation: the more advanced education programmes are, the more internationally-open they are likely to be. International students account for 5,6% of total enrolment in tertiary education on OECD countries, and to over 25% at doctoral level. Bachelor programmes remain less attractive for international students. Among OECD countries, only Australia, Austria, Luxembourg, New Zealand and the UK show a more international profile at earlier educational stages.
Furthermore, the advanced English-speaking countries, like Australia, New Zealand, the UK and the US, are the ones with most brain circulation, being also the largest host countries. In terms of sending regions, instead, most of the mobile students originate from Asian countries such as China (20%) and India (7%). The second major region of origin of international students remains Europe, with some countries (like Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania and the Slovak Republic) in which the number of international students studying abroad exceeds the number of international students studying in these countries. Data on international student flows illustrate that mobility is highly determined by “proximity factors”, which means that cultural and historical patterns have a major role in shaping the mobility pathways. In this regard, an illustrative example is given by European students: 82% of them prefer to circulate within Europe and enrol in another European country.
Education at a Glance 2017 - OECD