It's no surprise that international education has become the focus of many countries around the world. International collaboration and student mobility are leading factors in economic, social, and academic growth, and international students play an important role in both research and development.
Now, a new study released by the British Council give more insight into international education around the world and examines which countries' academic policies and infrastructure are most conducive to attracting and supporting students from abroad.
Earlier this month, the British Council published a report that looked at how individual nations work to support and promote international education through policies and laws. The study, which was released during the Going Global conference in South Africa, considered twenty-six countries and more than one hundred governmental strategies, policies, and legislations. The report centered on three key factors (openness, quality assurance and degree recognition, and access and sustainability) that determined the overall effectiveness of an individual country's international education system, and the selected countries were ranked according to the implementation of these three factors.
Malaysia and Germany ranked highest out of all twenty-six countries. While these findings are significant, they should come as no surprise. Germany has been actively working towards a comprehensive international education initiative, and Malaysia has a strong track-record of academic transnationalism. The UK, Australia, and China followed closely behind with 'very high' ratings in two of the three categories. Surprisingly, Vietnam and the Philippines ranked higher than the United States with 'high' ratings in all three areas. Turkey, Thailand, Indonesia, and Columbia were all givien 'very high' ratings in the area of 'Access and Sustainability.'
The report used the data collected to make nine conclusions regarding the state of international education around the globe. The study noted that there is increased pressure to globalize education and that many countries are working to reform and revitalize their higher education systems. The report also found that most countries focus their support on attracting students from abroad, but that greater efforts need to be made in recognizing degrees and quality assurance. Seven of the twenty-six countries ranked 'very low' in 'Quality Assurance and Recognition,' while only the four highest-ranked countries received 'very high' rankings in that area. The data indicated that, overall, most countries need to work toward greater cooperation and academic alignment in order to best serve the world's growing mobile student population.
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