The OECD suggests that by 2025 there will be no fewer than 8 million international students studying outside their home country, an astonishing number in comparison to the 2 million registered in 1998. Certainly, the rising number of students studying abroad positively affects their host countries. International students promote intercultural relationships on the campuses where they study; they contribute to local economies; and they often fill gaps in the labor market entering as highly qualified workers if they stay after graduating. 

However, besides these positive advantages, it is important to recognize more subtle benefits to sending and receiving countries. Although rarely mentioned, sending and host countries are leveraging student mobility to achieve national objectives. China provides a good example when a country actively promotes international education

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