Global Flows - 7 Million International Students by 2030

International Education in 2030

Education Intelligence Unit

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November 6, 2019

Global Student Mobility

Today, nearly five million international students travel abroad for education and by 2030 we expect that figure to reach at least seven million.

Demand has been strong and is generally predicted to continue that growth. The shape of demand has changed through events such as the terrorist attacks of 9/11, the global financial recession and more recently moderated immigration policies. However, the vast majority of global student flows is driven from lower-income towards higher-income countries and this underlying pattern will underpin growth through to 2030.

We mapped UNESCO’s 2018 student flows data to explore the complex landscape of international education.

Launch Interactive

HolonIQ Global Flows Chord

Outbound Flows

HolonIQ’s Global Flows project monitors and predicts the global flow of tertiary-level students based on UNESCO reported data and definitions. There are a number of data reporting issues, conflicts and definitions between country reported segmentation and UNESCO’s taxonomy which the project is seeking to resolve through the project as well.

HolonIQ’s Global Flows Map represents tertiary student flows for 2018 from source regions represented on the outer right in dark grey to the top 30 destinations on the outer left in light grey. Arcs are drawn between source regions and the top 30 destinations. The size of the arc is proportional to the number of tertiary students following that flow.

Global Flows
East Asia Outbound
North America Outbound
South Asia Outbound

Arab States Outbound

Latin America Outbound


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Inbound Flows

US Inbound
UK Inbound
Australia Inbound
France Inbound

Germany Inbound
Canada Inbound

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