Project Atlas® is a global research initiative that disseminates comparable student mobility data, conducts studies on academic migration and the internationalization of higher education, and provides customized workshops and research to strengthen data collection systems around the world. Our work sheds light on the national, regional, and international dynamics of student mobility, and how the phenomenon and the underlying definitions evolve over time.

The Project Atlas network:

With over 30 international partners, Project Atlas is a unique and growing network of leading academic mobility research and government institutes worldwide. Our country partners typically include agencies that are able to share their country’s data on student mobility, while also being engaged in broader issues of internationalization. Our research affiliates include centers and organizations that play a key role in internationalization issues pertaining to their country (while not necessarily sharing data), as well as those that have a multi-region or global outlook on student mobility. For more information about our network and to apply for membership please see the Partners and Membership page. 

How Project Atlas started:

The foundations for Project Atlas were established in May 2001 at a meeting in France that was attended by representatives from key national bodies and non-governmental organizations involved in international educational exchanges and mobility who were interested in developing an effective approach to a common data set for global mobility. Representatives from the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) and the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO), agencies that are mandated to collect global mobility data, also participated. By creating a shared framework for measuring and understanding international mobility, the goal was to highlight the truly global aspects of higher education, make apparent the emerging world higher education economy, and establish a conversational space for those concerned with global education mobility issues. Project Atlas is dedicated to understanding and tracking the unprecedented growth of international student flows worldwide.

Project Atlas was born with funding from the Ford Foundation, supported by the Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs (ECA) of the United States Department of State, IIE, and our country partners.