U.S. Higher Education’s Euro-Asian Student Mobility Equation

  •  Nicolas Gachon    


U.S. higher education has been an international focal point of attention and inspiration since the end of World War II. The iconic dimension of U.S. academic and research excellence has been a magnet for international students, the source of the U.S. competitive advantage, but arguably also the tree hiding the global forest. This article analyzes the strategic implications of the discrepancy in nature, quantity, and quality between student mobility to and from the United States between 2000 and 2010 and makes the case that signs of a potential erosion of the U.S. competitive advantage are emerging. The focus is on incoming foreign Asian students and outgoing American students to Europe. The argument is that a mobility imbalance is putting the United States at a competitive disadvantage in a market environment where reciprocity is a minimum acceptable standard in intersystemic transactions.

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