Education export - students studying abroad: Understanding how HEIs and host countries benefit from international students and what approach they can use to attract them

Anete Veidemane


Over the last thirty years the number of students studying outside their country of citizenship has increased more than five times from 0.8 million in 1975 to 4.5 million in 2014 (OECD, 2014a). According to OECD forecasts, eight million students will be globally mobile by 2025 (OECD, 2012). The significant increase in student mobility can be attributed to a number of factors. The purpose of this paper is to provide analyses of factors impacting education exports with a focus on international student mobility. The paper explores reasons for HEIs and host countries (represented by governments) to attract international students, analyses the factors that affect international student choice using a push and pull framework and provides recommendations to HEIs and the governments on their internationalization strategies.

Key words: Education exports, student mobility, internationalization, push and pull factors.

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