Worldwide, the number of students enrolled in higher education has risen five-fold, from 28.6 million in 1970 to 152.5 million in 2007. In the process, girls have overtaken boys. While male students went from 18 million to 75 million, female students rose from 10.8 million to 77.4 million.
The number of students pursuing higher education has doubled every 15 years. Globally, the gross enrollment ratio — the percentage of the relevant age group enrolled in higher education — has almost tripled from 9% to 26% in these 37 years.
The spike in higher education is mostly due to China, where the number of higher education students has grown on average by almost 19% each year since 2000.
Times of India reports that, as a result, since 2005, Asia has had the largest global share of higher education students, over 30% of global enrolment in 2007 (up from 14% in 1970).