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Author forecasts a tripling of international students worldwide by 2025

In a newly published book, Making a Difference: Australian International Education, contributor and industry consultant Bob Goddard provides a global view and a long-term forecast for the international education marketplace.

Goddard projects the world’s population of higher education students will more than double to 262 million by the year 2025. He expects that the bulk of this growth – more than half from China and India alone – will be in the developing world.

Even more significantly for international recruiters, Goddard forecasts that developing nations will be unable to offer sufficient higher education spaces to keep pace with this demand. As a result, the world’s population of international students will grow to eight million by 2025 – that is, nearly triple the number of students enrolled outside of their home countries today.

Further, and as has been widely observed in recent months, the field of countries competing to recruit international students will also continue to expand (see “A more complex marketplace taking shape for 2012” for our synopsis).

A University World News commentary on Making a Difference sums up the situation as follows.

The English-speaking countries have been long accustomed to dominating the market in selling international education to students but that situation is undergoing rapid change, Goddard notes.

Traditional source countries such as Singapore, Malaysia, Thailand and the Middle East are developing their own capacities to offer education to outsiders. Singapore hopes to attract 150,000 foreign students by 2015, Malaysia 100,000 by 2020 and Jordan 100,000 by the same year.

China, despite facing huge demand for higher education from its own young people, is planning to expand its enrolments of foreigners from 200,000 at present to 300,000 by 2020.

Then there are developed countries such as Japan that have shown little interest in the past in marketing education overseas. With an ageing population and an increasingly under-utilised higher education sector, Goddard says there is a growing realisation among the Japanese that this could provide opportunities for ‘substantial levels of international recruitment’.

Making a Difference is available for order from the International Education Association of Australia.

Source: Making a Difference: Australian International Education, Dorothy David and Bruce Mackintosh, ed., UNSW Press, 2012; University World News

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