Postgraduate Student Mobility Trends to 2024

Key forecasts

- In 2024, India will be home to the largest tertiary-aged population, numbering over 119 million
- China will become home to the second-largest tertiary-aged population, decreasing 30 million from 2012 to equal 79 million in 2024
- India will have the highest number of tertiary enrolments in 2024, numbering 48 million, followed by China (37 million), the US (22 million), and Indonesia (11 million)
- The strongest annual average growth in outbound postgraduate mobility will occur in Nigeria (+8.3%), followed by India (+7.5%), Indonesia (+7.2%), Pakistan (+6.4%) and Saudi Arabia (+5.2%)
- India postgraduate outbound mobility will have a higher annual average growth rate through the next decade than China
- China will be the largest source of international postgraduate students in 2024, with total outbound postgraduates to selected markets numbering 338,000, compared to India’s 209,000
- To 2024, the US will remain the number one inbound postgraduate destination, hosting 407,000 postgraduates, followed the by the UK, which will host 241,000, Germany (113,000 inbound postgraduates) and Australia (112,000 inbound postgraduates)
- Australia and Canada are forecast to have the highest annual average growth in inbound postgraduate mobility, at 4.1 per cent each
- The US inbound postgraduate market is predicted to grow at four per cent annual average change
- The UK and Japan are expected to see slowed growth, at 3.5 per cent and 1.6 per cent respectively
- In 2024, China is expected to account for 44 per cent of growth in inbound postgraduates to the UK and India is expected to account for 54 per cent of the US’ growth in inbound postgraduates
- Postgraduate bilateral ows from China and India to leading destination countries will remain the largest through 2024