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International student mobility and higher education capacity in Africa

Mary M. Kritz, Cornell University

This paper offers a cross-country comparison of international student numbers and destinations for Africans enrolled in higher education programs outside their homelands. The analysis shows that African countries differ significantly in the number of their nationals who are studying in other countries and in their study destinations. It also shows that international study destinations have changed in recent years. While country differences in population size, urbanization levels, and GDP purchasing power are important determinants of international student mobility, the analysis shows that country study-abroad rates are also closely linked to national training capacity. Countries that have the capacity to train large numbers of their tertiary age students send fewer students to other countries for higher education studies. We conclude that countries concerned with their study abroad rates and brain drain should focus on policy measures to strengthen their tertiary education capacity.

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Presented in Session 8: The international migration of highly skilled workers