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Students abroad in facts and figures

Students abroad in facts and figures

According to recent statistics, an increasing number of students decide to launch their studies abroad. In return, they benefit from a whole new experience usually including new cultural encounters, language environments and in many cases – better study opportunities. But what else do the facts and figures show us?

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During 2016, the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) released a report containing rich information about students abroad on a global scale. 

Where are the international students?

  • The United States hosts the largest amount of international Master’s students (26%) directly followed by the UK (15%), Germany (10%), France (10%) and Australia (8%). 
  • Denmark, Sweden and New Zealand have experienced variations in their number of international entrants after launching new tuition fee changes.   
  • Luxembourg had the biggest proportion of international students (44%) among all students (both Bachelor and Master). 
  • Higher proportions of Master students leave their chosen study destination after graduation rather than Bachelors.

Who goes abroad?

  • Asian students represent 53% of the total number of internationals enrolled in OECD countries.
  • There was a clear display that women represent the majority of students across OECD countries (54%) but men are more likely to study abroad (52%). 

Factors that influence the decision where to study abroad

  • Other interesting charts display that students’ choices for a country of study mostly depend on factors such as language of instruction, program quality, tuition fees and immigration policy. Aspects such as future career opportunities and living standards are also mentioned. 
  • And in accordance to these details, the typical international student is most attracted by English-speaking countries with well-ranked and respected universities offering great course diversity. 
  • As for financial charges, the report indicates that foreign students are less willing to enroll for programmes with high tuition fees. With the implementation of new regulations Denmark, Sweden and New Zealand have set a clear example of the effects of costs and resulting number of new international entrants. 
  • Finally, the immigration policy is important for every foreign student who is keen on staying at their chosen study destination for a longer period of time. Most countries have already eased their policy-making and allow non-native residents to share the same rights as everyone else. In return, there is an evidence of more diverse job markets and a better collective contribution to higher living standards. 


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