International Student Recruitment and the New World Disorder
In the Price Waterhouse Coopers’ report, The World in 2050: Will the shift in global power continue?, the authors estimate that in just a few decades the world will be very different than it is today in terms of the global ranking of national economies and the major drivers of economic growth. The report notes that China overtook the United States in 2014 to become the world’s largest economy on purchasing power parity and by 2028 the authors project that China will surpass the United States’ GDP in market exchange rate terms.
Countries with the fastest growing economies, populations and growing middle classes in Asia, like Indonesia, Malaysia, Thailand and Vietnam will dominate economic growth in the region. And the Asian middle class is expected to increase from 600 million in 2010 to more than 3 billion by 2030 to represent 66 percent of total global middle class population.
International student mobility, by extension, will be impacted by this new economic reality. I think it is safe to predict that regional mobility will grow in importance over global mobility and the major importers of students today, the United States and the United Kingdom, will continue to lose their share of internationally mobile students. While China will remain a leading exporter of students, it will increasingly become a major importer of students with a goal of enrolling 500,000 international students by 2020.
According to an Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development report, the stage is set for a new level of competition among international study destinations. National visa and immigration policies, coordinated regional and national marketing campaigns, availability of scholarships and employment after graduation, will be some of the factors countries can leverage to maintain or increase their market share of international students.
In his book, The World in Disarray, Richard Haass writes: What exists in many parts of the world resembles more a new world disorder.”
I would extent that sentiment to international higher education.
This article is excerpted from my new book, International Student Mobility and the New World Disorder, to be published in December, 2017.