Colleges without walls are also colleges without national borders. Professors are beamed in through teleconferencing. Students pursuing degrees online and otherwise are able to establish worldwide networks. As rising numbers of international students enroll in colleges and universities throughout the United States and elsewhere, the buzzword in higher education is “global”. Those obtaining a distance learning degree really do come from everywhere.
American colleges and universities during the 2008-2009 academic year saw a record high of nearly 672,000 international student enrollments, according to an annual Open Doors report from the Institute of International Education. Most students hail from India, China and South Korea, and most major in business and management and STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) studies, the report noted.
While a preliminary survey for the 2009-2010 academic year reportedly produced mixed Institute results, the Chronicle of Higher Education has reported that some 3 million study abroad students overall in 2009 is projected to climb to 8 million by 2025. And Ben Wildavsky, who penned the book, “The Great Brain Race: How Global Universities are Reshaping the World”, has likened the worldwide happening to a “free trade in minds” and “a chance for greater intellectual exchange, collaboration, and innovation”, according to an Inside Higher Education report.
Global education can also be big business. International students and their families contribute more than $13 billion a year to the American economy, much of it in the form of tuition, the Institute for International Education noted. Students tend to begin their searches for schools based on guidance from family and friends, according to a Chronicle of Higher Education report on a spring Going Global conference held in London. Latin American students also look toward publications for assistance, undergraduates in Africa and the Middle East rely on the advice of their professors and graduate students look for quality, reputable programs that best meet their career goals, the Chronicle report noted. » Read more: Online Education Enables Worldwide Participation