Internationalisation of Higher education European Experiences
Rapid change is shaking the European university model: online education platforms, rankings, increased competition and an open European market. These are all forcing universities to challenge old practices, build new leadership and form new partnerships. Global networks and university brands are emerging. Will universities follow the airline industry and consolidate into strategic alliances? Will online education increase or decrease student mobility? Student housing demand is driven by higher education trends, argues Wouter Onclin from the Class of 2020. Investors in student housing better take note.
Between 2000 and 2010, global participation rates in tertiary education grew from 19% to 29%. More students than ever are attending universities and colleges. It’s in Asia that the biggest changes are taking place. Over the past 20 years, the share of students who went on to graduate with a higher education degree in China has grown from 5% to almost 30%. This is expected to rise to 40% in 2020, bringing it close to the OECD average. In South Korea the enrolment rate in higher education has reached 100%. Chinese students account for 19% of all International students worldwide. It’s the young, and increasingly affluent population of Asia driving this surge. And this growth is relevant to all universities and housing providers, everywhere.
But it isn’t just in Asia. Throughout the world student numbers are on the rise. In Latin America, the figures are almost as high as those in Asia, and even back in Europe, participation in higher education is increasing, actively being stimulated through government policy.
Numbers are increasing, but so is the complexity of global education patterns. The US and Western Europe still dominate, now being joined by institutions in Asia and Latin America. The output of English language research papers from Chinese universities has grown by 17% per year since the year 2000, now surpassing that of the Japanese. The lingua franca for higher education and research throughout Europe has become English. The world of academics is now truly becoming global.
These developments also shake up patterns in the mobility of international students. Traditionally, we’ve seen students from Latin America, Asia or Africa, going to the West (usually the US or the UK) for their education. But patterns are becoming more complex. Europe has been the number one destination for international study for a long time, but Asia is seeing the fastest growth and is increasingly hosting students from the US and Western Europe.
Not only students are becoming more mobile, universities are as well. In order to meet the needs of their students, a growing number of universities are opening up branches abroad. This means students can get a degree at an international school without leaving their home country.