Pull factors and obstacles for international students in South Africa

A major survey looked into the motivation and experience of international students in South Africa and examined their geographic origins and fields of study. The authors identified “affordable fees, government subsidies for students from the region, proximity to home and cost of living, the strong reputation of higher education and currency of its qualifications” as the most important pull factors. Obstacles mentioned include support and adjustment challenges, but also xenophobic attitudes towards African students.

The study authored by professors Jenny J Lee of the University of Arizona (USA) and Chika Sehoole of the University of Pretoria (South Africa), chair of the the African Network for the Internationalisation of Education (ANIE), surveyed 1700 students. Results of a first analysis were presented at a conference of the International Education Association of South Africa (IEASA) in August 2014.

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