Eye-opening data about global student mobility

June 25, 2019
  • International Education
  • global education
group of people standing in a line pose for a photo

Photo: GDN Board of Directors, including AACRAO Deputy Director Melanie Gottlieb.

by , CollegeSource

I had the pleasure of attending the Groningen Declaration Network (GDN from here forward!) Annual Meeting in Puebla, Mexico, this April.

I found the GDN to be a rich environment for learning more about the global nature of higher education and its current trends. Here are a few eye-openers, culled from my notes for the first day of this year’s meeting:

• Global student mobility continues to increase. It grew from 2.1 to 5 million learners in the period from 2001 to 2018.

• Transnational education is a highly competitive, multi-billion dollar industry. There are winners and losers in this market! The US and UK are currently losing market share, while China, Canada, and Australia are gaining.

• The world average “brain drain” is 5.4%. Africa is the highest at 10.8%. (Brain drain is slang for the phenomenon of educated individuals migrating away from their home country.)

• Credential fraud is a serious problem. Jayne Rowley, Chief Executive at HECSU/Prospects Hedd shared some alarming data from the UK. 57% of people lie about their education on TV. 44% of employers never ask to see credentials. Of those 44%, only 20% verify the credentials presented to them. There are 243 known bogus universities in the UK alone. Christopher Jackson of Paradigm estimates that the credential fraud industry collects roughly 2 billion dollars on an annual basis.

• Methods of sharing credentials are evolving. In 2009, 0% of credentials were issued as e-docs. In 2018, there are 4 million credentials shared as data-rich documents.


Editor's note: The above is an excerpt, with permission, from a longer article discussing a variety of topics addressed at the GDN Conference, including blockchain, learner narratives, and competency-based education. Check out the entire story here.


AACRAO's bi-weekly professional development e-newsletter is open to members and non-members alike.