While Europe is debating what to do about foreign students,booming nations like China, South Korea and Mexico move tomassively expand their own international student populations. A
In this context, China stands out as it aims to more than doublethe number of foreign students studying at its universities from230.000 in 2009 up to 500.000 in 2020. South Korea follows asimilar internationalization strategy with the goal to boost thenumber of international students from 22.500 in 2005 up to 100.000in 2012. Main targets are mostly neighboring countries which wouldcontribute to a “regionalization of international studentmobility”.
Nuffic also names a few policy instruments that are used toachieve greater internationalization. Among them is the expansionof scholarship programs, a greater offer of foreign languageprograms and bilateral agreements with targeted countries. Mexico,for instance, went to great lengths in order to expand itsattractiveness to overseas students through financial subsidies anddouble degree programs.
Attracting international students to counter skillshortages
The internationalization landscape in Europe, meanwhile,diverges significantly. While most governments have recognized thatforeign talented students might boost the economy by counteringskill shortages, only few nations translate this potential intoreal policies.
Here, Nuffic points out Germany and Switzerland as the twoexceptions. “[In these countries] attempts are made to channelinternational student flows into the STEM subjects (Science,Technology, Engineering and Mathematics).”
Through its public agency,