International Student Flows Reach Record High in OECD Countries

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In 2022, nearly two million international students enrolled in universities and colleges in OECD countries, the highest number on record. This represents a 24% increase from 2019 and a 42% increase from 2021 according to new data from OECD (Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development).

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With nearly 20% of all international students in the OECD, the United States is the leading host country. The United Kingdom comes in second with 14%, followed by Australia with 9%. In terms of non-English-speaking countries, Germany and France are the primary destinations, collectively hosting around 15% of international students.

OECD secretary-general Mathias Cormann also emphasized the significance of this trend, stating, “International migration to OECD countries was higher in 2022 than in any other year since data had been available.” He also noted that several countries, including Australia, Germany, and Spain, are planning substantial reforms to their labor migration frameworks to address labor and skills shortages.

Governments in OECD countries are increasingly recognizing the importance of international students. International students contribute to the diversity and vibrancy of campuses, and they also help to address labor shortages and skills gaps.

In Australia, for example, the government is currently reviewing its migration system to consider how to encourage “high-potential” international students to remain in the country after graduation.

The arrival of international students is also having a positive impact on the economies of OECD countries. International students contribute billions of dollars to local economies through tuition fees, living expenses, and tourism. They also help to create jobs and boost innovation.

Overall, the record number of international students in OECD countries is a positive development. It shows that the world’s leading economies are still attractive destinations for higher education, and that governments are recognizing the importance of international students to their economies and societies.

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