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Project Atlas: Student Mobility and the Internationalization of Higher Education

November 27, 2012
Read about international student mobility in Project Atlas.

Last week, we reported on the release of the 2012 Open Doors report from the Institute of International Education (IIE). The Open Doors Report provides data on international students who study in the United States and on American students who study abroad. In addition to Open Doors, IIE collects data on global student mobility through Project Atlas.

Worldwide, there has been tremendous growth in the number of mobile international students. Project Atlas reports that in 2010, there were more than 4.1 million students studying outside of their native country, a 10.8 percent increase from the previous year. In 2001, there were only 2.1 million international students worldwide. The United States continues to be the number one destination for education, with 19 percent of the world’s international students enrolled in programs of study at American institutes of higher education.

During the Open Doors Briefing on November 13, 2012, Peggy Blumenthal from IIE presented the latest Project Atlas data and provided an overview of trends on global student mobility. Ms. Blumenthal reported that the large increase in the number of international students may be a result of “many governments investing in workforce development and creating knowledge economies through international education.” She continued on to say that governments find it helpful to send their citizens abroad and to internationalize their campuses; many governments are promoting scholarship programs which allow for study abroad opportunities and can attract international students.  

For more information on Project Atlas and to download an overview of trends and global data, please visit:

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