University Training Capacity and International Student Mobility: Related How?

Mary M. Kritz, Cornell University

Researchers disagree about whether tertiary-level students go abroad to study because they lack study opportunities at home or whether they are pulled abroad in search of migration and work opportunities. The paper addresses this issue in a comparative analysis by drawing on statistics from UNESCO and other agencies on numbers of international students and other characteristics. It identifies several cross-country determinants of student outflows from Africa, Asia and Latin America. Regression analysis is used to evaluate the relative importance of several structural characteristics of sending countries, including: tertiary training capacity and investments; demand for higher education; GDP per capita (purchasing power parity adjusted); colonial status, population size, origin region, and international ties. The findings show that countries with a greater supply of tertiary capacity but lower demand for it send fewer tertiary-level students abroad. They also show that countries with small population (under 2 million) send the most students abroad.

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Presented in Session 198: Higher Education: Cross-Country Comparisons and Mobility