The UNESCO Institute for Statistics has just published the 2006 edition of the Global Education Digest. This publication provides a treasure of data on tertiary education world-wide. Amongst them are statistics on foreign and mobile students in the year 2004. The Digest uses a new definition of internationally mobile students, i.e. students studying in foreign countries where they are not permanent residents, and uses specific indicators from the perspectives of both the sending and receiving countries (How many students go abroad? Where do they go? What are the impacts on the host and home countries? What are the factors that push and pull these students?).
The following are some of the key findings of the 2006 edition:
Sub-Saharan Africa has the highest regional outbound mobility ratio. The high study-abroad rates in these countries are mainly a reflection of capacity constraints, though;
The United States has the lowest outbound mobility ratio with less than 0.2 per cent students going abroad;
China is the largest sending country in the world, accounting for 14 per cent of all mobile students, followed by India, the Republic of Korea, Japan and Germany;
Western European students who study abroad rarely leave Europe;
The following countries have more students studying abroad than at home: Andorra, Belize, Cape Verde, Comoros, Djibouti, Guinea-Bissau, Luxembourg and Tonga;
Linguistic, cultural and historical links are important factors for the selection of study destination. Belgium and France, for example, are the most popular destinations for francophone students from sub-Saharan Africa.