Knowledge without frontiers

Published: Thursday 31 March 1994

-- "THE international mobility of students is a massive phenomenon, " says the World Science Report 1993. Out of a total of 61 million students in the world, about 2 per cent (1.2 million) study in foreign universities.

The regions that send the most students abroad are: the Middle and Near East, North Africa, Sub-Saharan Africa, the Newly Industrialised Countries (NICs) of Asia and China. The European Community and the European Free Trade Association nations also have significant numbers of their students in a foreign country, usually another European country.

In terms of the proportion of students going abroad (the "expatriation rate"), Sub-Saharan Africa comes first, with a rate of 14 per cent.

The US is the most popular student destination, with more than 400,000 pupils, which is over one-third of the world's total of internationally mobile students. The next most important student recipients are France, Germany and the UK, in that order.

In terms of the ratio of foreign students to the total number of students, Switzerland and Belgium are the most welcoming countries.

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