Mapping global student mobility

A new interactive map

University World News has a piece on a new UNESCO interactive map on global student mobility which shows the inflows and outflows of mobile students across the world.

East Asia and the Pacific is the largest source of international students, representing 28% of the world’s 3.6 million mobile students in 2010. Central Asia and Sub-Saharan Africa have the most mobile students, and several countries have more students abroad than at home.

These facts are highlighted in a new “Global Flow of Tertiary-level Students” interactive map published by the UNESCO institute of Statistics (UIS) in Canada last month.

“The surge in internationally mobile students reflects the rapid expansion of enrolment in higher education globally, which has grown by 78% in a decade,” says the UIS, which defines ‘internationally mobile students’ as those who have crossed a national border to study or are enrolled in a distance learning programme abroad.

Some of the data seems a bit strange though. For example, it seems that the UK sends no students at all to China (which cannot be the case) and sends the same number of students to Malaysia as to the Vatican.

It’s a really good piece of work and quite diverting. What will be even more interesting is mapping changes in these student movements over time.

Where will they go? Student Destinations – Global Agent Survey

The latest survey of international recruitment agent views

Given that I am currently at the University of Nottingham Malaysia Campus on a brief visit I thought I would focus on an international story. ICEF (an international market intelligence outfit) and i-graduate have just published their 2012 global survey of international student recruitment agents’ views on destination countries. The headline figures are probably what you would expectwith the US, Canada, the UK, Australia and New Zealand all showing well. But there are two particularly interesting points in this table and the commentary with it:

Year-over-year, the most remarkable change among leading destination countries can be found in Canada. Since 2008, Canada has risen fully 15 percentage points in its perceived attractiveness among education agents. Compare that to the US (a gain of 5 percentage points since 2008), the UK (a loss of 7 percentage points), Australia (a loss of 1 percentage point), and New Zealand (a gain of 3 percentage points). In 2008, Canada was tied with Australia in third place; in 2012, it is tied with the UK in second. Asian agents in particular registered a great surge in how attractive they consider Canada.

The first is the rise and rise of Canada as a destination. It is really impressive and this perceived attractiveness has, I believe, been confirmed in international student recruitment data. The second is the UK’s decline over the past five years but its stability in the most recent two years when the government’s significantly anti-immigration stance has been most pronounced. The fear must be though that this will get worse in future as the impact of visa restrictions and the reputational fall-out from the London Met debacle bites.

It will be really interesting to see how this plays out in future.

The Three World University League Tables of 2012/13

World University League Tables 2012/13

Following the publication of the THE world university rankings, we can put the three world league tables together, and in particular the UK placings, in a handy reference guide. They all offer their own unique take on world university placings.

Here they all are:

The Times Higher World University Rankings, including UK results.

QS World Rankings 2012 also with UK results.

Shanghai Jiao Tong World Rankings and UK placings too.

…all your world league table needs in one handy location.

One fascinating quirk of the world versus UK tables which demonstrates why caution is needed at all times when dealing with such data is that the University of Edinburgh appears higher in the world rankings in both the QS and Times Higher tables than it does in the recent domestic Sunday Times ranking (where it is 39th). Different indicators being used but it really does raise questions about the Sunday Times methodology.

The Three World University League Tables of 2011/12

World University League Tables 2011/12

An earlier post provided links to all of the recently published UK league tables. Now, following the publication of the THE world university rankings, we can put the three world league tables together, and in particular the UK placings, in a handy reference guide.

Here they all are:

The Times Higher World University Rankings
, including UK results.

QS World Rankings 2011 UK results

Shanghai Jiao Tong World Rankings

All your world league table needs in one handy location. Do handle with care though.

Stanford Adds Alumni Interviews

One of those big differences between US and UK universities

Inside Higher Ed carries a piece on alumni interviews:

Alumni interviews have for decades been part of the admissions process at elite private colleges. Their role has sometimes frustrated applicants, and left them guessing about strategies. Over the years, the process has also annoyed many alumni.


"Enough about you, let me tell you about when I was a student here..."

A 2002 article in The New York Times quoted a Cornell University alumnus talking about how all of the candidates seem the same: “If I see another valedictorian, I may throw up.” And Cornell doesn’t even call the sessions “interviews,” preferring the term “contact meeting” to stress that the alumni aren’t deciding who gets in. Still, alumni interviews are the norm at elite colleges — with a more common complaint of alumni of late, as documented recently by Bloomberg, being that they don’t have enough influence to make the interviews worth their time.

So, Stanford has joined in after standing apart from others for some time. It’s really just not clear why.

But could it happen in the UK? Mass applications would effectively prevent this as they have already killed off interviews in most subjects and institutions. But even if interviewing was still a common feature, would you involve alumni in the process?

The Times: 2010 University League Table

Latest UK university league table has been published by The Times (last year’s ranking in brackets):

1 Oxford (1)
2 Cambridge (2)
3 Imperial College (3)
4 St Andrews (5)
5 University College London (7)
6 Warwick (6)
7 London School of Economics (4)
8 Durham (8)
9 Exeter (13)
10 Bristol (10)
11 York (9)
12 King’s College London (11)
13 Bath (15)
14 Edinburgh (18)
15 Leicester (14)
15 Southampton (16=)
17 Loughborough (12)
18 Sheffield (22)
19 Glasgow (20=)
20 Nottingham (16=)

Not a huge amount of movement since 2009 with the Top 20 largely unchanged although the press release draws attention to some modest changes:

The biggest climbers at the top of the table include Liverpool (up from 34 to 28), Leeds (from 31 to 27), Sheffield (from 22 to 18), Edinburgh (from 18 to 14) and Exeter (from 13 to nine). Lower down the tables, big climbers include Cumbria (from 99 to 83), Hertfordshire (from 79 to 66), York St John (from 91 to 80) and De Montfort (from 77 to 67), Bedfordshire (from 89 to 71), Lincoln (from 103 to 86) and UWIC Cardiff (from 85 to 76)

The strict demarcation line between pre- and post-92 institutions seems to remain as strong as ever though with no newer universities making it into the top 50. A very different picture to the recent Guardian table.