Cara Skikne
4 years ago

Beyond $300 Billion: Value of international students goes beyond the financial impact


Eindhoven, September 2019 – Nearly 5.1 million globally mobile tertiary students contributed US$300 Billion to host countries in terms of the estimated economic impact (direct, indirect, and induced) in 2016, according to the new Studyportals report. The report also provides an overview of trends and insights on international mobility.

Edwin van Rest, CEO of Studyportals, asserts, ‘Financial contributions of international students are enormous; however, they are not the most important one. Some of the most critical contributions of international students are intangible and more difficult to measure such as filling talent/skill gaps, improving the quality of the classroom, fostering innovation, and offering internationalization at home for domestic students. Similarly, the impact on societies in terms of making our world tolerant and safer is unmeasurable and priceless.’

Jo Ritzen, former Dutch Minister for Education and Science, former President of Maastricht University, adds that ‘international peace is one of the best guarantees for prosperity. International students learn that they are as much the same as they differ from students from other nations and learn to work to together to innovate and to compromise. International education is the best road towards lasting peace as it erases divisive stereotypes and enhances the conditions for cooperation.’

Rahul Choudaha, the author of the report, highlights, ‘We often underestimate the contributions of international students to the economies, societies, and nations. The motivation for this report was to help us overcome the potential threats to the sustainability of international student mobility. This report is a collective call to action for stakeholders to create welcoming national policies and responsive institutional strategies to attract and retain global talent.’

Likewise, there is an urgency to act among higher education institutions to reinvest in strategies that grow the international student body while balancing goals of diversity, quality, access, and success. It also includes perspectives from following university leaders:

  • M. (Koen) Becking, President, Tilburg University, The Netherlands
  • Dawn Freshwater, Vice-Chancellor, The University of Western Australia, Australia
  • Graham Galbraith, Vice Chancellor, University of Portsmouth, UK
  • Inge Jan Henjesand, President, BI Norwegian Business School, Norway
  • Marvin Krislov, President, Pace University, US
  • Mohamed Lachemi, President and Vice-Chancellor, Ryerson University, Canada
  • Torbjörn von Schantz, Vice-Chancellor, Lund University, Sweden
  • Elizabeth (Beth) J. Stroble, President, Webster University, US
  • Thomas Strothotte, President, Kühne Logistics University, Germany
  • Ashish Vaidya, President, Northern Kentucky University, US
  • Youmin Xi, Executive President, Xi’an Jiaotong Liverpool University, China

About Studyportals

Studyportals is the global study choice platform, enabling students to find and compare their education options across borders and make an informed choice. With over 190,000 on-campus and online courses from over 3,200 participating universities and over 36 million users in 2018, Studyportals is the world’s leading information source for study seekers.

Studyportals uses Artificial Intelligence to match students with the learning opportunities that fit them best, globally. It helps institutions with a very targeted way to optimize their student population, through a fully digital, transparent channel and based on results.

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