The Year in Review. What Did We Learn About Global Education in 2019?

Jan 15 20

2019 was a turbulent year with lots of positive and negative events. Twelve months of the previous year passed extremely quickly. And you aren’t the only one, who’s pondering about the results of the year that irrevocably passed. We, the Aplic team, who are deeply engaged with education, made our own review of major developments that happened in 2019.

Americans and the British dominate but there are surprises

American and British universities’ domination is still undisputed

American and British higher education is the standard of excellent teaching and quality. And 2019 was no different: they maintained leading positions. According to prestigious QS World University Rankings and THE World University Rankings,Nanyang Technological University American and British universities’ domination is still undisputed. The first 10 positions of both ranking lists comprise only American and British institutions.

At the same time, significant achievements were made by China and Singapore: according to QS, two Singaporean universities became #11th (Nanyang Technological University and National University of Singapore). Furthermore, two best-performing Chinese institutions (Tsinghua University became #16 and Peking University #22) sufficiently advanced their positions.

The last year also could be said to be successful for Australian education. The country increased its expenditures on research and that affected the performance shown by Australian institutions. According to the rankings, now Australia has 11 universities included in the top 200 compared with 9 last year. 19 Australian institutions have improved their ranking position, which is an excellent result.

There’s a clear inference that while Americans and the British continue to lead the rankings, Asia becomes an extremely attractive place to study and Australia strengthens its image as an international educational center.

China and India as major sources of international students

According to the last numbers there are nearly 750,000 Indian students studying abroad

China and India are the most populous countries in the world with a total population amounting to 38% of the planet’s population. Last decades, in addition to population growth, countries boast high rates of economic development. It isn’t a big secret that rapidly growing economies require high-qualified and educated specialists.

For almost two decades China has been the major source of internationally mobile students studying abroad. However, in recent years outflow of students slowed down due to some demographic policies and rapid advancement of Chinese education.

In fact, in the last 6-7 years, India began to outstrip China in the year-over-year growth of students heading to study abroad. Over this period of time, India has become the world’s second-largest sending market – outpaced by China only.

According to the last numbers given by the Indian Ministry of External Affairs, there are nearly 750,000 Indian students studying abroad. Their favorite destinations are retrospective: the USA, Canada, Australia, Saudi Arabia, and the UAE.

Stiff competition over international students

Stiff competition over international students has intensified

This year Canada and Australia continued to reinforce their position as the major desired places to study. Among the top ten countries hosting international students in the last five years, none has shown faster growth in attracting inbound students than Canada and Australia.

Both Canada and Australia increased the number of students studying there compared with the previous years’ results. Those gains were done at the expense of other formidable directions of education, especially the UK and the USA. The last two, actually, have stayed relatively static, without a marked increase in the number of international students.

But Asia doesn’t stay aside and strives to snatch its share of foreign students. In addition to China – that’s now the world’s third most popular study abroad destination, other Asian countries also claim to host more students and increase external enrolments. These countries include Singapore, Malaysia, South Korea, Japan, and Taiwan.

In 2020 the stiff competition will intensify amid the news that the UK’s new policy which will allow students to gain post-study work visa. In this context educators around the world anticipate America’s further steps to boost competitiveness in the country.

New motivation to study abroad

The chance to obtain a post-study work visa becomes the major motivation

Traditionally, research opportunities, funding, scholarships, as well as high quality of education were the major incentives that drove students to study abroad. Now it’s a bit different.

Recent polls and researches demonstrate that for many foreign students the major motivation behind the aim to study abroad is to gain a job and obtain a work permit after graduation. It’s especially relevant for students from developing countries who are keenly interested in this option. They seek employment after education and that’s one of the main reasons why countries with liberal immigration policies such as Australia, Canada, Germany, Ireland were able to boost a number of international students in the last years.

Huge and growing industry

According to fresh research conducted by Studyportals, in 2016 international students contributed $300 billion in the global economy.

The research counts an estimated total amount of the direct and indirect economic contribution made by the 5.1 million foreign students studying abroad. The number of contributions includes international students’ tax revenues, daily spendings, and household incomes.

Most of the contributions were made to the economy of the 🇺🇸 USA, ($57.3 billion in general). The next countries are in the following list (calculated in US dollars).

  • 🇬🇧 UK: $25.5 billion;
  • 🇦🇺 Australia $19.8 billion;
  • 🇫🇷 France US$14.5 billion;
  • 🇩🇪 Germany $14.4 billion;
  • 🇨🇦 Canada $11.1 billion;
  • 🇳🇱 Netherlands $5.3 billion.
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    To sum up, we would like to thank our readers and wish you the best luck in 2020. We hope you’ll earn your right to study at the university of your dreams and have a fruitful academic year! Stay with Aplic.

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