The number of students enrolled in higher education globally has risen five-fold, from 28.6 million in 1970 to 152.5 million in 2007. In the process, girls have overtaken boys. While male students went from 18 million to 75 million, female students rose from 10.8 million to 77.4 million.
The number of students pursuing higher education has doubled every 15 years. Globally, the gross enrolment ratio — the percentage of the relevant age group enrolled in higher education — has almost tripled from 9% to 26% in these 37 years.
Almost 51.7 million new students, or one-third of the total, have enrolled in just seven years since 2000. These facts emerge from a Unesco report titled ‘Global Education Digest 2009’.
In the South and West Asia region, which includes India, the student population grew six-fold from 2.8 million to 18.5 million. In comparison, in the East Asia and Pacific region, which includes China, it increased 12-fold from 3.9 million to 46.7 million.
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