Internationalisation of higher education sees students from one country travel to another to study and learn at a foreign university for varying reasons, which include but are not limited to:
* because they want an international education;
* they want to experience teaching, learning and research in a different environment, in a new culture, using alternative methods in unfamiliar surroundings;
* to ensure they have more options in terms of where they can use their international qualification, and
* strengthening their position for migration.
The Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) in its annual Education at a Glance report, tracked trends across the OECD member countries which are predominantly wealthy—the nations of Western Europe, Australia, Israel, Japan, Korea and the United States—but also includes data from non—OECD states in the Group of 20, including Brazil, China, and India. The report highlighted some interesting trends on post secondary education.
Unemployment rates for college degree holders rose from 3.3 to 4.7 per cent from 2008 to 2010, compared to an increase of 4.9 to 7.6 per cent for those who had only completed secondary education.
Wage gaps between those with college degrees and those without widened during the recession. While in 2008 a man with higher education could expect to earn 58 per cent more than his counterpart with a secondary degree—and a woman 54 per cent more than her counterpart—by 2010 these figures had increased to 67 and 59 per cent, respectively.
In 2010, more than 4.1 million students were enrolled in higher education outside their country of citizenship. This figure has increased dramatically, by 99 per cent since 2000. In 1975, there were a mere 0.8 million students enrolled in foreign degree programs worldwide.
The most popular host countries are the United States—which attracts 17 percent of all international students, the United Kingdom—13 per cent), Australia—seven per cent, France—six per cent, and Germany six per cent.
Most international students from Fiji study in Australia, New Zealand and more recently, South East Asia. While there is a continued number who are private fee paying students, most international students from Fiji are sponsored students.
Sands Partnerships (Fiji) operates an International Student Placement Centre in Suva. They officially represent Australian and New Zealand Universities and provide information on programmes of study options; accommodation options and student visa arrangements that can greatly assist students make an informed decision. "It's a good place to start to ensure success".