Germany and Australia are among the best performers in a major British Council research that looks at national policies on openness to international higher education.
The Shape of Global Higher Education: National Policies Framework for International Engagement, published on 4 May, examines policies in 26 nations by assessing them against 37 qualitative indicators.
Although the British Council did not compile an overall ranking, such a list can be produced by tallying scores in the three broad categories of indicators – openness to international mobility for students and academics; domestic and cross-border education quality assurance and recognition of overseas qualifications; and fair access and sustainability in terms of countering potential negatives such as brain drain.
Giving each category equal weighting, the overall top five would be made up of Germany, Australia, the UK, Malaysia and China (see below).
Other key findings from the research are that financial support from governments is “mainly focused on student mobility and policies aimed at ensuring equitable access and brain drain prevention”; that nations such as Australia, Germany and Russia have widened access to their labour market for international students; and that quality assurance is “an area of weakness”.
In terms of those judged to be leading performers, Germany is known for the strength of its federal-level policies in this field, and it has a national agency, the German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD), to promote inward and outward flows of students and academics. The country has a target to host 350,000 foreign students by 2020 and is keen for them to stay on for work, given the nation’s need to address a dwindling labour force.
The countries most open to international higher education
Photo credit: “”. Material used in the preparation of this article has been drawn from Times Higher Education.