Introducing the "Brain Exchange"

Once upon a time, academic institutions in the United States and Britain would pilfer all the talented students from around the world by offering a high-quality education and a wealth of job opportunities after graduation. 

Today, China now receives more foreign students than they send overseas, according to an article on the

The piece, published online on Oct. 3, 2010, talks about the new and growing trends in globalized education, and, in particular, discusses the idea of a "brain exchange". Replacing the brain drain - where talent from around the world is recruited to other countries by affluent institutions, often in the U.S. and the U.K. - the brain exchange is characterized by a flow of students back and forth, often with students studying overseas, perhaps working for a few years, and then returning home. This is thanks to an improvement in the quality of education in many countries, especially in Asia.

Some of the stats quoted are pretty spectacular: "depending on how you count, there are currently between 2.5 and 3 million foreign students (some countries count only foreign citizens who stay for longer than a year). By 2025 that figure is expected to reach 8 million."

The great part of this increasing global competition for talent is that the options for students looking for overseas opportunities can only grow. China and Malaysia, especially, are really upping their game to attract students, and gone are the days when you had to look West for a high-quality education. Today, you have a whole world of opportunities to consider!

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Zalina Alvi

Zalina grew up in Toronto and began her career in journalism at the York University campus newspaper. Before joining Verge in 2010, she worked for a documentary festival, a non-profit organization and various magazines and newspapers. Zalina has had some eclectic travel experiences, including reporting for a newspaper on the island of Molokai in Hawaii.

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