Today, nearly five million international students travel abroad for education and by 2030 we expect that figure to reach at least seven million.
Questions we hear at our ‘Education in 2030’ events around the world include “what will student migration look like in the coming decade?” and “what shifts should we expect in the composition, direction and demand of students studying abroad”.
International student numbers have grown rapidly since the 1990’s when enrollments took off, slowing down after 2010 to approx 3% CAGR according to UNESCO. There are various estimates in the market for growth ranging from the OECD’s ‘8 million by 2025’ representing 6% compounding annual growth (CAGR) to Study Portals more conservative ‘6.87 million by 2030′ representing 2.8% (CAGR).
We mapped UNESCO’s 2015 student flows data to explore the complex landscape of international education.
The snapshots below from our interactive data explorer focus on outbound student flows from regions of the world (in black) to inbound flows for the top 20 study destinations (in grey).
The thickness of links between the regions and the top 20 countries encodes the relative size of flows between the outbound regions and the inbound countries: thicker links represent more student mobility.
Links are colored by destination or inbound flows.