Higher Education

, Volume 66, Issue 1, pp 105-122

First online:

An empirical study on the determinants of international student mobility: a global perspective

  • Hao WeiAffiliated withSchool of Economics and Business Administration, Beijing Normal University Email author 

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This paper, based on the data of 48 countries and regions from 1999 to 2008, studies the economic and educational determinants of how countries of different types attract international students. The study finds that: the volume of merchandise trade between countries facilitates international student mobility across borders; international students from developing countries put the same weights on educational and economic factors for peer developing countries as potential destinations, while only economic factors are taken into consideration for developed countries as potential destinations. On the other hand, international students from developed countries often value educational factors more for developed countries as possible destinations, while equally weigh educational and economic factors for developing countries as possible destinations. Therefore, countries aiming to attract talents from other countries should pay more attention to attract international students and encourage them to seek working opportunities in local employment markets after finishing study.


International talents flow International students Outflow country Inflow country