Student mobility has increased significantly in recent decades, largely as a result of globalisation. In 2017, around 5.0 million students were studying abroad, which was more than twice the level in 2000, and more than triple the level in 1990.
As well as being a major exporter of overseas students, Asia Pacific is also increasing its own intake of foreign students. Among the most appealing markets in the region are Japan, Hong Kong and Singapore. Foreign students made up a massive 45% of Singapore’s student population in 2016, although the number was relatively small in absolute terms.
China has built up a significant market for international students within a short space of time, largely thanks to the growing number of foreign universities based in the country. The number of international students in China soared from 80,000 in 2011 to 127,000 in 2017, with South Korea its main source country.
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