This chapter reviews emerging local and international contexts of twenty-firstcentury higher education, and suggests links between internationalization of the student learning experience and multicultural/diversity education agendas to equalize those experiences for domestic students. To develop a current perspective, this opening chapter draws upon economic and demographic data, and also illustrates something of how diversity perspectives and priorities can be differently framed in different contexts. Indeed, these differences are a significant part of the backstory to this volume. There is an impressive amount of such data available, but also significant gaps, some contradictions, and substantial questions concerning its validity. Furthermore, the arena is, like much within globalizing education, advancing rapidly, and details of numbers and players will soon be outdated. However, the trends will not, and we need to develop practice from an informed vantage point, even when the image which reaches us is blurred, represents only part of the game, and may not always be one we welcome. A recurrent theme, illustrated in this chapter, is that the shifting drivers and environments in which we enable learning demand dynamic and mutable approaches.
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