High-quality talents are reshaping the world economic landscape by transcending geographic flows and driving global innovative activities. Under the background of globalization and profound changes in international geopolitics, the ‘Belt and Road’ has become the general program of China’s opening up and foreign cooperation. Talents are the key to advancing the strategy of ‘Belt and Road’. The number of international student mobility along the ‘Belt and Road (B&R)’ has increased rapidly from 13.2×10 4 persons in 2000 to 104×10 4 persons in 2015. The significant increase of flows means a broader and more complex network of political and economic relationships. The concept of ‘talent’ is relatively broad, including scientists, scholars, engineers, artists, entrepreneurs, college students and so on. The ‘talent’ mentioned in this article are international students receiving international higher education. In the era of knowledge economy, studying abroad has become an important part of international talent flow and a necessary process for countries to cultivate international talents. Compared with international students, other types of talents have smaller international mobility and lack of formal statistical data. Based on the data of international students mobility in universities published by UNESCO, this article uses the complex network method to construct a weighted directed network, combining with GIS spatial analysis methods to study the evolution of the network structure of talent flows in B&R countries or regions from 2000 to 2015. Limited to data collection, the data of China do not include the data of Taiwan. The results show that: 1) The average weighted degree of talent flow networks in B&R countries or regions increases rapidly from 2 001 to 15 338. And the number of paths increases from 674 to 1 860, which indicates that not only does the number of mobile talents in the network continues to increase, but also does the number of talent paths. Meanwhile, the network scale expands rapidly as well. 2) The geospatial pattern of the network of talent flows in B&R countries or regions is ‘from middle to west, from south to north’. Students in central Asia mainly flow westward to Russia, Ukraine, while students in Southeast and South Asia mainly flow northward to China. As a result, the network center gradually shifts from West to East. 3) The network of talent flows in B&R countries or regions has prominent community structure characteristics. The characteristics can be divided into 5 associations: The CIS Association, the China ASEAN Association, the West Asian North African Association, the Middle East European Association and the South Asian Association. 4) The network of talent flows in B&R countries or regions has a significant core-edge structure characteristics, China and Russia are at the core position, and some countries in southeast, Western and Eastern Europe are in the edge position. This article proposes suggestions for B&R talent training from perspective of the core countries, formulating regional talent exchange strategies, improving the quality of higher education, and implementing the international talent training mechanism of ‘internal and external circulation’.