As national economies become more interconnected and participation in education expands, governments and individuals are looking to tertiary education to broaden students’ horizons and help them to better understand the world’s languages, cultures and business methods. One way for students to expand their knowledge of other societies and languages, and thus improve their prospects in globalised sectors of the labour market, is to study in tertiary institutions in countries other than their own.

The factors driving the general increase in student mobility range from the exploding demand for higher education worldwide and the perceived value of studying at prestigious post-secondary institutions abroad, to specific policies that aim to foster student mobility within a geographic region (as is the case in Europe), to government efforts to support students in studying specific fields that are growing rapidly in the country of origin. In addition, some countries and institutions undertake major marketing efforts to attract students from outside their boundaries.