Top data resources on international education in Europe

Top data resources on international education in Europe

The upcoming issue of summer Forum, the EAIE’s flagship member magazine, is on the role of data in international education. Every issue of Forum is covered on the EAIE blog on the week that the magazine is officially published. This time, we have a small ‘teaser’ for readers of the blog: a comprehensive list highlighting the main sources of data and research that can be used by international education professionals. The author of this blog post, Irina Ferencz, is a member of the EAIE Publications Committee and Deputy Director of the Academic Cooperation Association.

Putting together an overview of available data sources on international higher education in Europe is like striving to solve a very complicated puzzle. One constantly wavers between the feeling that some of the pieces at hand seem to be from another puzzle and the fear that some of right pieces are missing. In fact, none of these worries is totally ungrounded when it comes to metrics in the landscape of international education. There is very little data available to begin with. Beyond statistics on international student mobility flows, there is hardly any census-type of data collection on other aspects of international education. The field is rather a potpourri of (very few) yearly statistical data collections, regular and irregular surveys and case study approaches, making analyses – especially between countries – very challenging. There is low comparability of the various types of data across the many aspects of internationalisation. Equally important are the big gaps that remain, making it impossible, at least for the moment, to complete the picture.
What follows is an overview of some the most established sources of data and information on some, though not all, of the key aspects of international higher education. The sources and resources included fulfil two criteria: they allow for cross-country comparisons, (ie they are collected at the international level on the same definitions for a group of, if not all, (European) countries) and they provide the (primarily quantitative) state-of-the-art data in the respective field – or as close to it as possible. It goes without saying that this is by no means a full count, and that there are many other extremely valuable resources on international higher education.

Internationalisation strategies and trends

  • IAU Global Survey (2003, 2005, 2010, 2014): drivers, values, strategies, priorities, objectives across the globe.
  • EAIE Barometer study (2015): rationales, strategy, activities, policy impact, knowledge and skill needs in internationalisation in Europe.

International student mobility flows

Degree-mobile students

  • UNESCO Institute of Statistics database: statistics on international degree-seeking students by country of origin and destination (mix of nationality and country of prior residence/education).

International graduates

  • EUROSTAT database: statistics (population, education, learning mobility) on international graduates in Europe by country of origin.

Credit-mobile students

  • ERASMUS grant holders: census-type data on Erasmus students.
  • EUROSTUDENT V (2015): Survey data, chapter on short-term mobile students and their socio-economic background, linguistic proficiency, mobility plans, funding and mobility obstacles.

International staff mobility

International study programmes

  • ACA surveys on English-Taught Programmes (2001, 2007 and 2014): quantitative evolution of ETPs in Europe.
  • British Council survey English as a medium of instruction: a growing global phenomenon (2015): survey of 55 countries.
  • IIE survey Joint and Double Degree Programs in the Global Context (2011): a survey of higher education institutions from 28 countries.

Transnational Education (TNE)

Impact of student mobility

  • ERASMUS Impact study (2015): impact on the mobile students.
  • DAAD study, The Financial Impact of Cross-border Student Mobility on the Economy of the Host Country (2014): economic impact of international students on the host country, covering Germany, the Netherlands, Austria, Poland, Switzerland and Spain.

Internationalisation of the curriculum

  •  IoC in Action: a website presenting concepts, case studies and literature.

Next week on the blog, we will have the full coverage of Forum. Make sure to keep an eye on the EAIE Resources library, where EAIE members will have full access to the magazine and non-members can download the issue’s Editor’s pick.  Stay tuned for much more on data!

Irina Ferencz
Academic Cooperation Association, BelgiumIrina is Director at the Brussels-based Academic Cooperation Association.