The veritable boom in tertiary education is reflected by the gross enrolment ratio (GER). However, a closer look at the data (through the gender parity index) shows that nearly every country in the world is facing gender disparities. Women have the advantage globally but remain effectively excluded from this level of education in many countries with very low rates of tertiary participation. Another key factor shaping enrolment patterns is the rise in the private tertiary sector, which is also captured by UIS data.
Tertiary graduates by field of study
How many tertiary students actually complete a first degree? What fields of study do they pursue? Are women moving into fields traditionally dominated by men, such as science and computing? The following indicators provide detailed information on graduation patterns.
Tracking the flows of mobile students*
UIS indicators in this area are uniquely designed to examine mobility trends from the perspective of countries sending and receiving students. They also help indicate which host countries are the most popular among mobile students.
The outbound mobility ratio reflects how likely students are to pursue their education abroad (i.e. mobile students coming from a country as a percentage of all tertiary students in that “sending” country). The inbound mobility rate reflects the perspective of the host countries by shedding light on where mobile students come from. It expresses the mobile students studying in the country as a percentage of total tertiary enrolment in the host country.
The UIS has also developed the mobility dispersion index, which reflects the extent to which mobile students from a given country are either concentrated in a few host countries or scattered among a larger group.
* Data on the number of outbound mobile students have limitations. When host countries do not specify the country of origin of mobile students, the number of students from a given country studying abroad is underreported. The problem is magnified when countries that host a large number of students from abroad, such as China, Egypt, Lebanon, Singapore and Uganda, do not report where these students come from. Consult the list of countries that host more than 2,000 mobile students so see the gaps in data. (Excel)