More students than ever before are leaving their homeland to pursue higher studies abroad. The number of these mobile students increased two-and-a-half times between 1975 and 2007, to reach 2.8 million. Two-thirds of these foreign students make a beeline for six countries — the US, UK, France, Australia, Germany and Japan in that order.
Interestingly, Germany and Japan also figure among the top countries of origin of such students. China sends the largest number of students outside (about 421,000 in 2007) followed by India (153,300), Republic of Korea (105,300), Germany (77,500) and Japan (54,500).
The number of female mobile students is increasing at a slightly faster rate, as a result raising their share of the total from 46% to 49%, according to UNESCO’s recent report, ‘Global Education Digest, 2009’. Despite increasing numbers, the proportion of students going abroad for higher education has remained the same since 1999, approximately 2 out of every 100 students.
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