Global Trends in Higher Education – Part 1

To help American colleges better understand their applicants and build a more robust admission process, there is a growing need to keep up with international education trends. Here’s a quick glimpse.

Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN)

ASEAN states are actively encouraging students to find universities within Asia. To that end, they are designing programs such as ‘ASEAN International Mobility for Students’ and ‘Passage to ASEAN’ to allow for easy cross-border student mobility and academic integration. While these programs have not had an immediate impact in all geographies, they have been making significant strides in Malaysia and Indonesia.


With both inbound and outbound student mobility soaring, education in Latin American universities is increasingly becoming globalized. In fact, one of the countries leading the way is Colombia. As more and more employers in the country begin to demand an overseas college degree, students are highly incentivized to seek higher education opportunities abroad. The flow of inbound students has also gathered pace thanks to programs such as Programa de Movilidad Académica among others. This particular program welcomes students from China to teach Mandarin to their Colombian counterparts, further contributing to the country’s fast-evolving education system.


While parts of Europe have been struggling to provide jobs to fresh graduates, Germany has been continuously striving to make its students more employable. Fueling these efforts is the German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD) — an institute designing robust education models to drive the number of local college students studying abroad to 50% and increase the number of foreign students at German universities by 17% by 2020.


Japan has long been trying to become globally recognized in the field of education. Over the years, it has adopted an activity-based learning approach to teaching English, thereby driving demand for native English teachers. It is also expanding the number of colleges offering an International Baccalaureate (IB) to further attract foreign students and professors at the university level. And with the Japanese government aiming to increase the number of outbound college students from 80,000 to 120,000 by 2020, the country is well on the way to transforming its education system.

Education today is certainly moving in the right direction. As countries begin to recognize the need for greater international exposure in an increasingly global world, governments are pitching in by allocating more funds to the education sector. While the US continues to attract the highest number of international college students, the existence of certain systemic challenges means there is greater scope for growth. At August Network, we leverage our education expertise and global perspective to help American colleges confidently navigate these hurdles and impact lives one student at a time.