Snapshot: Where are international students enrolling?
I don’t think it necessary to wait until fall 2018 enrollment numbers are known to predict which countries will continue to increase their market share of international students.
Let’s begin with Australia
According to data published in October 2017, international student enrollment increased by 13 percent over the previous year and contributed AUS$29 billion to the Australian economy.
In January of this year Indonesia announced that it will open its doors to foreign universities looking to operate in the country. One of the countries that should benefit from this ruling is Australia. Two top Australian universities, the University of Melbourne and the University of Queensland, have already expressed interest in operating in Indonesia.
Australia has emerged as the preferred destination for Indian students, a direct response, it is reported, to the anti-immigrant rhetoric of the UK and the US. The number of Indian students studying in Australia has soared to a seven-year high. As of November 2017, more than 68,000 Indian students were studying in Australia colleges and universities, an increase of 14.65 percent over the previous year.
The enrollment of Indian students in Canadian universities has been steadily increasing since 2015. By 2016, enrollment topped 100,000, an increase of 63 percent.
Enrollments from China have also increased over the past three years. The Canadian government has opened seven new visa centers in China to accommodate the increasing demand from Chinese students.
For the past three years international student enrollments in South Korea have increased. In 2017 enrollment increased 19 percent over the previous year. South Korea now hosts nearly 125,000 international students. China remains the most important market for South Korean colleges and universities. 55 percent of all international students studying in South Korea are Chinese.
In 2016, the Taiwanese government developed a “New Southbound Policy,” aimed at closer collaboration with ASEAN countries: Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand, Brunei, Cambodia, Laos, Myanmar and Vietnam.
By 2017 the number of Taiwanese students studying in ASEAN countries increased 13.5 percent. The number of students from southbound countries enrolling in Taiwanese colleges and universities increased by nearly 10 percent.
Germany’s international student enrollment increased for the 2016-17 academic year and totaled 360,000. In the prior year, the number was 340,000. Germany has set a target of enrolling 350,000 students by 2020, a target that appears to be easily reached.
I do not wish to perform cosmetic surgery on the truth. But the facts speak for themselves: the pivot to Asia has occurred and colleges and universities in “traditional” Western countries will no longer enroll international students in the numbers they have over the past quarter century.