According to UNESCO’s Institute for Statistics the number of international students has risen dramatically from 0.6 million worldwide in 1975 to more than three million in 2009. The number of international students is estimated to grow to eight million in 2025.
International student flows impact different countries in different ways. Some countries are the usual host destinations, while others see international students rarely, often only as a part of their studies. The United States remains the biggest destination for international students, followed by the United Kingdom, Germany, Australia and New Zealand. The largest numbers of international students are from China, India and Korea, followed by the students from the European Union. Asian students represent 52 % of foreign students enrolled worldwide. However, since 2000 the fastest growing regions of destinations for international students are Latin America, Caribbean and Asia.
Growth in international students enrolled outside of their home country (1975 – 2025, in million, source OECD and UNESCO)