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In conversation with Mr. Ganesh Kohli, Founder IC3 Movement

By Anuj Cariappa
Google Oneindia News

The International Career and College Counseling Movement (IC3) and the International Institute of Education (IIE) recently collaborated on a report titled "International Student Mobility Flows and COVID-19 Realities," which looked at major international student mobility trends for the 2019/2020 academic year.

In conversation with Mr. Ganesh Kohli, Founder IC3 Movement

Q. What are the factors that influence students' decisions about international study?

As per our findings, contributing factors known as "push and pull variables" influence students' overseas study decisions. Students are either encouraged (or pushed) to pursue higher education outside of their home country or because of pull forces, students are attracted or drawn to a new country for their higher education.

Based on these considerations, host countries around the world have attempted to entice as many international students as possible to pursue higher education in their country.

Below are some of the factors which we have highlighted in our report:

Expanded alumni networks and organised recruitment strategy: Countries with large alumni networks and well-defined recruitment goals have attracted a large number of international students. Furthermore, policies such as post-degree practical training regulations, which allow international students to stay in the country longer after finishing their degree and gain valuable work experience, have aided in attracting international students to their countries.

Newer destinations: A number of international destinations have risen to prominence as regional hubs, attracting students from nearby countries. This is especially true in Asia, where countries with a growing middle class have made significant investments in higher education. Many countries, including Japan, have invested in English-medium programmes and institutions to improve their ability and have attracted international students and workers.

Growing population: Countries with a high birth rate are experiencing rapid population growth. In many cases they have limited higher education capacity to support the demand from a growing number of students who want to pursue a tertiary degree (Martel et al., 2019). In Bangladesh, Nigeria, and Pakistan the pool of university‐aged youth continues to grow (World Bank, 2019). The average incomes in developing economies were expected to grow too, positively affecting higher education enrollments.

Population decline: Conversely, decreasing birth rates and ageing populations in other areas of the globe encourage nations to recruit overseas students who assist in developing a pool of global talent, diverse viewpoints in higher education, and contribute to the local economy.

Q. Where does India fit into all of this, and how can it break into the top five?

Through the 2021 IC3 Institute Student Quest Survey Report, the IC3 Institute has highlighted howAustralia and India are similarly ranked in students' choice of preferred country of study. The choice of India as a destination to study abroad may be influenced by this demographic of respondents along with highlighting the growing attractiveness of India as a destination for higher education. In fact, India ranks higher than Singapore or any European country.

Q. What was the impact of COVID-19 on international student global mobility especially for the year 2020/2021?

Countries and higher education institutions were unsure about the options for international student enrollment in future semesters when the pandemic broke out in early 2020. As the global pandemic enters its second year, research from around the world has emerged documenting COVID-19's impact on global mobility flows.

While official international student enrollment numbers for this period will be released in late 2021 or early 2022, there is evidence that international student enrollment in most major host countries declined in the 2020-2021 academic year. Enrollment declines ranged from approximately 20% to a modest decrease in the top five host countries for international students. The number of short-term exchange students has decreased significantly, while the number of continuing international degree-seeking students has remained stable. When looking at enrollment figures by institution type, the numbers varied (Large research institutions appeared to fare better than other institutions, and, in some countries, increased enrollment at research institutions offset declines at other, smaller institutions.)

For more details, please visit: https://www.iie.org/Research-and-Insights/Publications/IntlStudent-Mobility-Flows-and-C19-Realities

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