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Home > Education > Higher Education Accueil

Higher Education 

The demand for higher education has never been greater as universities compete globally to attract students. But are students opting for private or public institutions? To what extent will they pursue their education abroad? Which fields of study are most popular among men and women? These are just some of the questions facing policymakers looking to expand and diversify their national tertiary education systems.

 

What is the role of the UIS?

 

Based on its annual data collection, the UIS produces a range of indicators to track trends in tertiary education at the global, regional and national levels. These data include: enrolment and graduation ratios disaggregated by sex and type of programme; enrolment rates in private and public institutions; and graduates by field of study.

 

In addition, the UIS has developed a series of unique indicators to track the flows of foreign or mobile students. Mobile students are defined as those who study in foreign countries where they are not permanent residents.

 

It is important to note that many countries are unable to provide precise data on their tertiary education systems. In response, the UIS works closely with national statisticians – through training workshops and diagnostic studies – to improve the collection and quality of these data.

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Higher Education in Asia: Expanding out, Expanding up
Global flow of tertiary students (interactive map)
New patterns in student mobility in Southern Africa Development Community
Education at a glance 2012: OECD indicators
The Bologna Process in higher education in Europe - Key indicators on the social dimension and mobility
 
 Enrolment patterns

 

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.

 

Additional resources:

 

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