As globalization affects international business in almost every way possible, it also affects education to great extents. International education is on the rise as the demands of a globalized world bring the need for students to understand broader issues around the world. Students, the future business leaders of tomorrow, have become more mobile than ever in search for global experiences and job opportunities overseas. In past years, many students moved abroad to study in developed economies such as the United States and United Kingdom. However, that trend is starting to shift as many people believe the booming economies in the East offer more job opportunities than the West.

This simple thought explains why increasing numbers of students are looking to study in Asia, and more specifically, universities in China. In fact, the proportion of students coming to Asia grew from 6% in 1998 to 11% percent in 2008. Low unemployment rate in Asian economies are also another reason students are considering universities in the East. Universities in Hong Kong and China have unemployment rates at 0.2% for new graduates; these numbers are unheard of in most universities of developed economies. However, students electing to study in Asia are not without challenges of their own.

When multi-national firms recruit graduates in Asia, they look for potential employees with deep local knowledge and connections. Western students can no longer land a job with few qualifications besides English language fluency; students must have the ability to understand the local culture alongside having the proper language skills. One agency estimates that the number of Western expats looking to work in the Asia Pacific region has jumped by more than 30 percent. However, the jobseekers recruiters find easiest to place are people born in Asia but educated abroad. These workers have an inherent understanding of Asian culture, adapt well, and are cheaper to hire than Western students. This marks a challenge for students beginning to study overseas in Asia but not without hope as students are beginning to recognize the importance of immersing themselves in new cultures and language.

According to UNESCO, Asia’s economic growth is changing the global patterns of student mobility. As developing countries emerge onto the economic scene, they create opportunities for businesses and students alike. Do you think education in Asia will continue to attract students from overseas? Let us know what you think by leaving a comment below!

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