For the past couple of years at least, institutions and schools that aim to build their foreign enrolments have heard the prevailing wisdom about how to recruit: diversify. Which is shorthand, in many cases, for “diversify beyond China and India.”
It’s not that China and India are no longer major drivers of enrolment growth for many countries – they definitely still are. For example, China alone has accounted for about half of overall enrolment growth in the US for the past 15 years. And in 2015/16, between one-third and one-half of international students in the US, Canada, Australia, and the UK were from China and India.
But the history of international education tells us that nothing is perennially stable. Political instability, economic crises, a shifting geopolitical landscape, currency fluctuations, visa and post-study work rights policies, natural disasters, and increased domestic higher education capacity are all capable of disrupting student mobility patterns.
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