Wither global universities? A list of resources on international student mobility

As another academic year draws to an end, we know many of you are feverishly planning for the next one, drawing up proposals and searching for the latest data available on mobility, trends, international happenings, etc. In that spirit, this blog is a quick semi-annotated list of resources on international student mobility: from enrollment management to branch campuses, alumni relations to assessment, you’ll find some interesting and substantial discussion on how a new focus on international is affecting the role and structure of higher education, or to quote Ben Wildavsky, “how global universities are reshaping the world.”

Resources on International Student Mobility

The Center for International Higher Education

CIHE is a world-renowned clearinghouse of publishing, scholarship and commentary on higher education at Boston College. Founded by Phil Altbach and directed by Hans de Wit, its flagship publication International Higher Education is read widely around the world, in English as well as Chinese, Russian, Spanish, and Portuguese. Note: CIHE is teaming up with WES in late June to offer a three-day seminar on the changing landscape of global higher education and international student mobility, and I am especially looking forward to learning about insights into regional mobility coming out of this collaboration.

The Chronicle of Higher Education

A weekly (print!) newspaper (and daily online) full of news, information, and jobs for college and university faculty and higher ed professionals (staff members and administrators), copies of The Chronicle can be found in SIO waiting rooms across the country. An overall outstanding source on developments in international student mobility, for example this piece by the always insightful Karin Fischer on how international enrollments can skyrocket at some institutions, while others have fewer students now than 10 years ago.


With the tag line, “Surveying the Construction of Global Knowledge/Spaces for the ‘Knowledge Economy’”, you may guess (correctly) that this blog, edited by fellow Madisonian Kris Olds (University of Wisconsin) in collaboration with Susan Robertson (Bristol), would be an academic, deep-dive (think: Nate Silver) into current trends in the global higher education landscape. Often cross-posted with Inside Higher Ed (see below), it’s the perfect place to look for in-depth background to campus discussions that relate to international student mobility; for example: “Internationalization: A Taxonomy of Engagement and Institutional Logics” or “A question (about universities, global challenges, and an organizational-ethical dilemma)”.

Inside Higher Ed

Along with The Chronicle, this online source for daily news, opinion and jobs in higher education is another of the most widely distributed sources for current news and opinion related to international student mobility. Look for articles by another of my favorite journalists, Elizabeth Redden; for example coverage of the on-going debate at NAFSA on using commissioned agents for international student recruitment.

Institute of International Education

IIE in many ways sets the benchmark for quality research and policy analysis in the field of international student mobility. Led by Rajika Bhandari, Open Doors and Project Atlas are perhaps their best-known data-focused resources, but IIE also provides domestic and international governmental agencies, non-governmental organizations and foundations reports with specialized research and reports, many of which address international student mobility and are available under the publications tab.

PIE News

PIE News provides a variety of news and business analysis of the global international education sector (higher ed, further ed [a UK term], language learning, K-12, agents, ed tech, and policy), while sister sites offer employment and consultancy solutions in the international education sector. It’s a great resource on developments in international education. For example, Sara Custer – in an recent piece on the growth of international high schools titled “The rise and rise of the international high school market” – highlights how in 2015 some 56% of the 4.2 million students enrolled in English medium international schools are in high school and focused on global higher ed opportunities.

Times Higher Education

Times Higher Education is a weekly magazine based in London that reports on news and issues related to global higher education. Perhaps best known for its university rankings, edited by Phil Baty, THE is also an interesting source for articles and research on developments in international education.

Leave a Reply