What I found most interesting in reading the AU Global Survey on internationalization of higher education, was the section on page 10 that detailed the aggregate and regional results from the survey question which asked what countries considered risks of internationalization to institutions and society.
As a whole, respondents perceived that the most significant risk of internationalization for institutions was that international experiences would only be available to students that have the financial means to support international education. A whopping 31% of respondents cited this as a major risk. I dug up a couple articles that speak to the actual cost of study abroad and the perceptions amongst many students that believe spending a semester in another country is only for rich people. There are a number of costs associated with studying abroad however the trend towards diversifying the student body populations that study abroad and creating interest in non-traditional study abroad locations is occurring.
What does it really cost to study abroad? College itself is expensive, and after factoring in plane tickets, visas, room and board, meals, new city transportation the upfront cost may seem hard for a student who doesn’t have monetary support from their families. For the 2012-2013 academic year, the average cost of a semester abroad for a student based in the US was $17,785, according to the Institute of International Education. From what I’ve read it seems that this price tag although very expensive, is not necessarily in addition to what you are already paying for college and it could actually turn out to be the same cost that you would spend ordinarily for college, depending on individual college costs.
Regionally, respondents in Africa and the Middle East cited brain drain as the second most important risk for institutions. I had not heard the term brain drain prior to reading the survey but was familiar with the concept under a different name, human capital flight. I thought it was quite interesting that these two countries regarded brain drain as such a huge risk. According to a World Bank Report, there is a growing move of North African migrant to the Middle East and Europe and of these migrants, 2.9 million people where educated and now live in more developed countries.
It is a frightening situation to lose your doctors, engineers, professors and other skilled professionals to other countries; this can cripple a country. The factors for brain drain are wide-ranging and complex and also depend upon the African country itself. One may be forced to leave a country because of war, political, instability, attraction to better pay, or even an appreciation for a different/western way of life. This movement for African countries is most prevalent in the medical field, and the recent Ebola outbreaks highlighted the doctor shortages. “In 1973, there were 7.76 doctors per 100,000 people in Liberia. This dropped to 1.37 doctors in 2008. In East Africa, Uganda has less than 5,000 doctors and 30,000 nurses for a population topping 35 million people, according to World Health Organization data. Societal risks of internationalization differ region to region but resources as seen in the majority of our readings is always a top concern.