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Innovations in Urban Politics. Dr Jonathan S. Playing with America's Doll. Emilie Zaslow. Teachers' Work in a Globalizing Economy. Alistair Dow. Contemporary Debates in the Sociology of Education. How to write a great review. Firstly, it points to the important spatial disparities in the internationalization of higher education, and the uneven flows of students which result from this. In particular, it suggests that greater emphasis needs to be placed on both the material and symbolic meanings of educational mobility.

Chapter 7 reflects more broadly upon the nature of higher education in a changing world. It draws upon the regional case studies presented in Chapters 3 to 5 to argue that while the internationalization of higher education is strongly linked to the wider policy context discussed in detail in Chapter 2 , it is also explained by other aspects of societal change. Finally, we focus on some of the pedagogical and social issues that are brought into sharp relief by significant increases in student migration.

We consider the impact on knowledge creation and transfer, and on the inter-cultural experiences of both mobile and immobile students. To some extent, these changes can be seen as broadly positive: ushering in a more international curriculum in many subject areas in HEIs across the world; increasing the diversity. However, this chapter also points to the ways in which increasing student mobility may be serving to exacerbate inequalities — between both individuals and regions. Chapter 8, the conclusion, draws together key themes from the previous seven chapters, outlines the key intellectual contributions made by the book and suggests fruitful future directions for research and policy in this area.

It begins by highlighting the increasing importance of student mobility — to regional bodies, national governments and individual institutions — and exploring the ways in which strategies for internationalization have changed over the past decade. Drawing on the preceding chapters of the book and, in particular, the case study chapters, it then identifies three key themes. Firstly, it considers the different scales from which issues related to student migration can be approached, from the personal and familial to the national and transnational, and the different insights that each level of analysis can provide.

Secondly, it examines some of the conceptual concerns that cross-cut these different scales of analysis, focussing specifically on the uneven geographies of student mobility. Thirdly, it attempts to bring together academic scholarship and more practically-orientated practitioner debates to identify some important policy implications.

Here, we suggest some ways in which supranational organizations, national governments and individual institutions could respond to the various inequalities we have highlighted throughout the book. We end with some final remarks on the internationalization of higher education and point to the pressing need for further research in this area — not least to explore the ways in which the advantage that accrues from international mobility can be made more accessible to all students, and not just those from the most privileged backgrounds.


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  6. Introduction It is frequently asserted within the academic literature that education policy-making has undergone a fundamental change over recent decades. This argument has two particular strands: firstly, that policy is no longer determined at the level of the nation-state, but by a number of highly influential transnational organizations; and, secondly, that economic imperatives have come to outweigh all others.

    In contrast, however, in this chapter we argue that while the changes brought about by both the growing international neo-liberal consensus and the increasing influence of international organizations are significant, individual nations retain considerable decision-making powers and can and do respond to the wider environment in different ways; indeed, there are complex articulations between global influences and the priorities of particular nations and regions.

    Political, social and cultural factors are also important, and exert considerable influence on policy-making. In developing this argument, we begin by considering the wider international context — specifically, the role of international organizations in the structuring of education policy and the impact of a dominant, worldwide neo-liberal agenda. We then go on to explore the ways in which this agenda is mediated, first, by the region — by drawing on the example of the European Union — and, secondly, by the individual nation-state.

    We show how economic and political and, in some cases, cultural factors are important in structuring both regional and national responses to global pressures and the ways in which student mobility is understood and facilitated. We have suggested that this can be problematic — as it can imply, erroneously in our view, that there are no other possible forms that globalization can or could take. The international context The role of international organizations The World Bank plays a key role in what has been viewed by some as the increasing globalization of education policy.

    In , it was the biggest external loan provider for educational programmes, which were implemented in about 85 countries across the globe Montsios, Its influence was particularly apparent during the s, mainly in developing countries. As has been welldocumented in the academic literature, all its funding is provided on terms which directly or indirectly define specific policy agendas that individual countries are expected to follow.

    These are informed by neo-liberal imperatives and, typically, are aimed at reducing national deficits through cuts in public spending, abolishing restrictions in global trade and opening national markets to capital flows. As Rizvi and Lingard note, Structural Adjustment Policies: Served to institutionalise everywhere the neo-liberal notion that governments were highly inefficient in promoting growth, and even in addressing the problems of social inequalities.

    Markets thus defined the limits of national policies, by exerting an unprecedented amount of influence in shaping policies and in allocating funds for social and educational programmes. The policy role of nation-states was thus redefined as a facilitator of markets rather than an instrument that steered them or mediated their effects. While many such initiatives have been aimed primarily at the compulsory sector of education, they have had significant impact on the tertiary sector, too.

    In particular, they have helped to promote a standardized form of education in many developing countries that have been the recipients of World Bank loans, and encouraged them to see higher education as an arena in which they are required to compete against other nations. It specifies a range of conditions under which global trade in education is to be pursued such as transparency of rules, liberalization of markets and the development of rules for solving disputes , and countries that join the GATS process are required to make a commitment to the ongoing liberalization of trade through periodic negotiations.

    Governments must work with national objectives in mind, to ensure access on the basis of merit and to promote quality standards and stimulate innovation and research. But they must do so with a global outlook. It is through sharing ideas and knowledge that our societies will become more prosperous and sustainable.

    Here, assumptions about the inevitable and largely unproblematic nature of globalizing pressures are evident. The OECD is also an important player in its own right, in contributing to the emergence of a common global agenda within higher education. However, as Henry et al. In the s and 70s, for example, although the two were seen as closely intertwined, education was understood as the most important driver of greater future income equality.

    By the s, however, the nature of the relationship was seen differently: education was no longer promoted as a common good but as an instrument in global competition, and concerns for equality of opportunity were replaced by calls for flexibility and responsiveness to the needs of the labour market Rubenson, Equity came to be conceptualized in terms of market participation, rather than as something to be pursued in support of social democratic ideals. OECD benchmarks have, it is argued, had an important impact on both standardizing many educational processes in countries across the globe and helping to develop a global education policy.

    Student Mobilities, Migration and the Internationalization of Higher Education | SpringerLink

    However, it is not the only actor in this field: as noted above, UNESCO has also engaged in the measurement and monitoring of national education systems, for example. These have since been published on an annual basis and have received considerable attention from the media, the HE community and national governments. Moreover, the rankings give no recognition to the differing goals and missions of universities, nor are they sensitive to internal differentiation e.

    Nevertheless, their impact has been significant. Such responses have also been replicated at the regional scale: when the first international league tables appeared, the European Union was concerned that only ten European universities were located within the top 50, compared with 35 American institutions, and began to formulate plans for developing a European Institute of Technology to increase regional competitiveness. As Hazelkorn notes, the SJTU and THES rankings can be viewed as an artefact of globalization: they appear to order global knowledge and provide a framework through which the global economy and national positioning can be understood.

    The increasing standardization of higher education, through such benchmarking and ranking exercises, provides a further way in which the private sector has been able to infiltrate public sector provision. English language testing services, for example, which have assumed an important place in facilitating international student mobility from non-English speaking nations to the US, UK and Australia, in particular provide considerable business for a small number of large companies.

    Although officially a non-profit organization, it has been criticized for operating as a multinational monopoly and for competing with for-profit companies in selling materials to help students pass the very tests that it develops Nordheimer and Frantz, Such standardization can be seen as both a response to and a driver of international student mobility. They encourage universities to view themselves as in competition with institutions in other countries for talented students, and young people albeit, in most cases, a highly privileged minority to come to see themselves as choosers within an international marketplace.

    Moreover, such pressures have been accompanied by a distinct shift in the discourse of international education and student mobility. In the s and 80s, the economic, political and cultural purposes of education all carried considerable weight within the dominant discourses of the OECD and UNESCO, and international education was seen as a means of furthering both co-operation between nations and the inter-cultural skills of individual students.

    In contrast, more recent understandings of international education have positioned it, instead, as an export industry, and as a matter of global trade rather than aid Rizvi and Lingard, Nevertheless, while noting the increasing global pressures on higher education systems over recent decades and the constraints imposed upon national policymaking Kelly, , it is important to recognize that the influence of these international organizations is spatially differentiated; it is not experienced in the same way in all parts of the globe.

    Firstly, different organizations have different spheres of influence. The World Bank has more influence on developing countries than other nations, for example; the OECD, in contrast, impacts primarily the Western world. They also exert their influence in different ways, with the World Bank relying on loans and other forms of financial support, and OECD on the generation and production of different types of data.

    Secondly, countries differ considerably in the extent to which they are able to resist global pressures Yeates, This is an important argument that is developed in more detail later in the chapter. The global economic context The relationship between education and the economy has always been significant.

    In some ways we can see broad continuity in contemporary society with. However, some scholars have argued that global economic pressures are now exerted more directly on individual educational institutions especially those at the tertiary level without being mediated by the nation-state Marginson and van der Wende, While this particular argument is not shared by all e. Deem, and is subject to critical scrutiny in later sections of this chapter, few scholars contest the more general contention about the importance of economic influences on contemporary higher education.

    Indeed, although we will argue that, in understanding the pressures that drive student mobility and the wider processes of internationalization within HE, it is important to explore the role of both the region and the nation, recognition must also be given to the wider economic context in which universities are operating and young people are making decisions about where to study. This has been characterized by a shift from social democracy — in which the main form of social provision was through the state, and social welfare was accorded high importance as a means of addressing inequalities — to neo-liberalism — in which the market has become the main mechanism for the delivery of services, and social welfare is seen as merely a safety net.

    Neo-liberal pressures can be seen to be exerting a two-way influence on student mobility: from the top-down, through the policies put in place and actions taken by national governments and individual tertiary institutions in different parts of the world; and from the bottomup, largely through the decisions taken by young people as to where they will study.

    As noted above, central to the neo-liberal agenda is the belief that markets are much more efficient providers of services than public sector bodies, and that government. As this coincided with an expansion in the number of places available in the tertiary sector, many institutions faced a crisis in their finances. In this context, international education was seen as a potential panacea, offering financially-stricken institutions a new source of revenue Waters, In Australia, for example, federal government funding for universities declined by 30 per cent between and International students were pursued vigorously as a means of addressing this shortfall and, by , cross-border student fees provided over 14 per cent of higher education revenues Deumert et al.

    As many other Western countries were developing similar strategies, an aggressive global market developed with nation-states and individual universities deploying increasingly sophisticated branding and marketing techniques to entice students overseas Sidhu, Recently, they have been joined by other non-Western countries, keen to gain a segment of the lucrative international student market.

    Such competitive pressures have been exacerbated by the international comparisons and various benchmarking exercises described above, which have exposed differences between both national systems and individual institutions. In response to this type of international market, some developing countries have attempted to restrict the number of students who pursue HE overseas such as Malaysia. Others have, however, positively encouraged such migration, seeing it as a relatively cheap means of both responding to heightened domestic demand for tertiary education and increasing the skill level of the population as a whole.

    Universities, themselves, have also been encouraged to act in more entrepreneurial ways within an increasingly marketized system. Indeed, Clark argues that in response to neo-liberal global pressures, all universities are being pushed into similar kinds of market-driven behaviour. Examples of this, he contends, include: taking on a wide range of entrepreneurial activity; diversifying the sources through which higher education is funded; strengthening the central management function of the institution; and persuading academic staff of the need for transformation and continual change.

    This last point is developed in more detail by Slaughter and Leslie in their work on Academic Capitalism. They argue that staff in HE institutions across the globe have come, increasingly, to adopt market-like behaviours as a result of the compet-. In particular, they point to the decline in the availability of public funds and the growing necessity to bid for grants from private sector organizations and develop close links with multinational corporations. Although some scholars have been critical of the evidence base on which such claims have been made e.

    Deem, and have pointed to the capacity for resisting neo-liberal pressures exhibited by some university staff Archer, , the increased focus on international education and the facilitation of student mobility can be seen, in part, as congruent with this agenda. International higher education has, it is argued, come to be viewed as a private good and commodity to be freely traded. In turn, this emphasis on free trade and movement between nations has stimulated the mobility of both university staff and students Altbach and Knight, However, the way in which such influences are played out in particular countries and institutions varies considerably, as will be discussed in more detail later in the chapter.

    As we argued in Chapter 1, the increasing massification of HE across the globe has encouraged the view that a first degree is no longer sufficient to secure entry into wellpaid professional employment. In some parts of the world, moving overseas to pursue a higher education is an important component of such strategies. Indeed, in her analysis of migration between Hong Kong and Canada, Waters argues that: when faced with credential inflation, middle-class families in Hong Kong seek scarcity value through an overseas education.

    This bestows. In the UK, for example, data on university admissions have emphasized the different geographies of higher education choice, with high achievers from more privileged backgrounds choosing within national markets of high status HEIs, while their peers engage within regional markets of less prestigious institutions. Similar disparities are also played out within the international arena: those who move abroad for HE are typically from privileged backgrounds with considerable amounts of cultural, social and economic capital to draw upon Brooks and Waters, a; Findlay et al.

    These include: difficulties of regulating the content of courses offered by out-of-country institutions; damage to local universities and colleges by the incursion of foreign providers; the undermining of the values and priorities of the host county; and the potential exploitation of local academic staff by foreign employers Altbach and Knight, ; McBurnie and Ziguras, Pedagogical concerns have also been raised, such as the privileging of Western bodies of knowledge and modes of analysis among overseas students in universities in the US, UK and Australia Kenway and Fahey, ; Sidhu, and the lack of space made available to international students in these countries to challenge the dominant culture of Western academia Robinson-Pant, see Chapter 7 for a more detailed discussion of these themes.

    Nevertheless, it is important to recognize that, while the influence of the global economic context and the ascendancy of neo-liberalism, in particular, help to explain the increasing significance attached to international student mobility by many nation-states and HEIs, they should not obscure the important political motives that also underpin policies to facilitate student migration.

    Sidhu points to various ways in which the political agendas of both international organizations and individual countries have had an important influence on the way in student migration has been configured in particular parts of the world. Moreover, Sidhu suggests that political imperatives also underpin the way in which overseas students are chosen by receiving countries.

    Regional contexts While we would argue that political imperatives are often as important as economic factors in driving global policy in relation to international education, generally, and student mobility, in particular, we suggest that similar motivations are at play at the regional level. Certainly, this has been the case historically.

    The Colombo Plan, for example, was an aid plan for the Asia-Pacific region established by Commonwealth countries in Alongside the provision of technical help and financial assistance, it offered scholarships for students in developing AsiaPacific countries to study at a First World university Oakman, Political objectives are also evident in contemporary regional policies to stimulate educational mobility. Moreover, by focussing on the regional level, we demonstrate some of the ways in which global pressures are mediated by more local concerns.

    Indeed, in the next part of the chapter we illustrate this argument by drawing on a case study.

    Globalising higher education and cities in Asia and the Pacific

    They have shifted significantly since the creation of the European Union in the s. Within this phase of policy development from until , HE was viewed primarily as a mechanism for the creation of the region of Europe and the development of its elites. While various initiatives are associated with this trajectory, such as the creation of the European University Institute in Florence, Italy, in and encouragement for universities across the region to work more closely together, the most important policy development was the establishment of the Erasmus scheme in , to facilitate short-term exchanges between higher education students.

    This was politically expedient as it allowed the European Commission to promote a strongly European agenda, while doing little in any direct sense to under-. Despite failing to attract the number of students that was hoped for initially, the Erasmus scheme has been an important driving force in student mobility across the continent and is discussed in considerably more detail in Chapter 4. This shift in higher education policy was marked by the Maastricht Treaty signed in which gave the EU a more direct role in education and was a response to broader trends, namely the global transition from Keynesianism to neo-liberalism.

    Within this changing international environment, it was thought that in order to be competitive, Europe had to restructure along market lines. This gave rise to a number of significant policy developments, all of which aimed to promote economic growth within the region and make a substantial contribution to developing European human capital.

    Central to both is the promotion of academic mobility. The mobility of students and also researchers and other staff was seen as an important means of putting into practice a unified higher education area, with a common qualification framework and comparable quality assurance criteria and methodologies. Moreover, the EHEA was seen as a key marketing tool to attract students from other parts of the world, and to increase the appeal of Europe as a destination country for educationally mobile young people. Nevertheless, as Robertson recognizes, despite the large number of countries that have signed up to the Bologna Process 47 as of January , the level of engagement with the policy has not been consistent across the continent.

    Neither does Bologna offer equal rewards to all; indeed, the increased mobility both within Europe and to Europe from other regions is likely to benefit the most affluent countries with more prestigious education systems, thus entrenching further the uneven geography of student migration. It is important to note that, in this third policy trajectory as in the previous two, student mobility retains a central role.

    It has been seen as part of a wider marketing strategy for the European Higher Education Area. One of the Erasmus Mundus funding streams is dedicated specifically to projects to promote European higher education worldwide. Underpinning this activity is a clear concern that Europe has relatively little presence in the global market for international students. Olds b , for example, suggests that the emergence of a more integrated European HE system has encouraged Australia, in particular, to push for greater collaboration between countries and institutions within the Asia-Pacific region.

    He argues that this has been prompted by concerns that, otherwise, Asian students may increasingly choose a European destination over Australia. However, other Asian countries have also seen some merit in developing stronger regional coherence: the ten countries of the Association of South-East Asian Nations have committed themselves to establishing a common space for HE in south-east Asia by National and local contexts As we have noted above, it is our contention that the nation-state remains a key player in the drive towards internationalization.

    These, she suggests, are common to many countries across the globe. These are considered below. During the s, many political theorists argued that the nation-state had lost its authority. This analysis was underpinned by the assumption that global economic pressures were placing severe constraints on the autonomy of national governments, while international bodies were usurping many of their powers.

    More recently, however, and particularly since the al-Quaeda terrorist attacks on the US on 11th September , this view has been reassessed. They argue that the rise of international terrorism has drawn attention to the importance of strong nation-states by virtue of their capacity to influence the behaviour of their citizens while ensuring that the social conditions are in place to facilitate capital accumulation.

    In relation to policy more specifically, while the state is no longer necessarily the fundamental unit of world order as a result of the emergence of new policy actors from the private and voluntary sectors and global and regional networks, it retains an important role in both policy co-ordination and in the development and delivery of programmes. Indeed, in the sections that follow, by drawing on examples of differences in national approaches to student mobility and other aspects of the internationalization of HE, we argue that the state has become an important mediator of both global and regional influences.

    The nation-state and international organizations Although we have suggested above that international organizations have played an important role in developing a global market for HE, nation-states have been able to retain some autonomy in the face of such globalizing pressures. In their case studies of higher education in the Czech Republic and the Netherlands, Vlk et al. Moreover, despite the high profile given to GATS within both policy debates and the academic literature, it is important to note that all countries that are members of the OECD have chosen to retain firm control of the national character of the HE system under their jurisdiction Green, and analysis of World Trade Organization negotiations reveals a strong national-interest bias Marginson and van der Wende, Indeed, Green contends that, even in the contemporary world, human skills remain relatively immobile and national.

    Similarly, at a regional level, Susan Robertson has suggested that progress towards achieving a European Higher Education Area may well be impeded by European member states keen to protect their own national interests and reluctant to cede any further decision-making powers in relation to education. This is evidenced by the fact that the European Commission has been obliged to.

    Diversity in national approaches The enduring influence of the nation-state is also evident in comparisons of specific national responses to global pressures. Sidhu points to considerable differences between the US, on the one hand, and Australia and the UK, on the other, in their reasons for wanting to develop international education and attract overseas students. In Australia and the UK, she argues, the international student is seen primarily as an object of trade, as someone who makes a valuable contribution to export income. In both countries, strenuous efforts to increase the number of international students within domestic universities followed a reduction in public sector expenditure during the s.

    The significant decrease in state funding to Australian universities has been described earlier in the chapter, and similar trends have been seen in the UK. In both countries there are also important national political imperatives at play. Sidhu suggests that UK educational mobility policy is driven, not only by the desire to derive revenue from overseas students and thus ensure that its universities are internationally competitive, but also to develop and retain influence overseas.

    Her analysis of Australian motives is similar, suggesting that both political and economic objectives underpin international recruitment: A discourse of national interest has been influential in shaping power-knowledge relations within international education. Various institutional reforms have been undertaken in the interest of national competitiveness to develop an education export industry. At the same time, an older colonial text, premised on Australia as an educator of Asia and Asians, remains in place, along with a national fear of being swamped by the other.

    Such students are valued for: providing cheap academic labour within universities; maintaining enrolments in disciplines where domestic interest is waning such as science and engineering ; contributing to developing US enterprises; and upholding US interests overseas Sidhu, This last point has.

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    Such national differences are evident, not only in national policy statements, but also in the marketing campaigns which are targeted at overseas students. On the basis of her analysis of marketing material from a range of British institutions, including the British Council the organization with overall responsibility for promoting British education overseas , Oxford Brookes University and the London School of Economics, Sidhu argues that economic imperatives are intertwined with icons of Empire: The student is imagined and constructed as an elite economic subject for whom an international education means acquiring a credential that has currency in the global economy.


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    As noted above, affirmative action policies in Malaysia which have favoured Bumiputras ethnic Malays have led many ethnically Chinese students to seek higher education abroad, while the economic growth experienced by countries such as India and China over recent years has led to an increase in demand for prestigious overseas education from the expanding middle-classes Rizvi and Lingard, Since the late s, this Pacific Asian city-state has been making significant efforts to develop a knowledge-based economy, through shifting the base of its economic activity and by presenting itself — within academic, industry and media circles — as a cosmopolitan and creative space ibid.

    Financial and other incentives have been used to attract a large number of prestigious Western universities to set up linkages with Singapore, including joint teaching and research programmes, student and staff exchanges and the establishment of offshore campuses. National policy can also shift considerably over time, indicative of some degree of agency on the part of the nation-state.

    The UK provides an interesting example of this. This has included a good practice guide on student mobility Fielden, intended to help HEIs to prepare for greater outward international mobility by their students. Explicit in this work is a recognition that a period of study abroad can offer important benefits to both the individual and wider society through the acquisition of a more cosmopolitan outlook and the development of inter-cultural skills.

    Student mobility policy is often intimately bound up with immigration policy which also differs from nation to nation, and changes over time. As will be discussed in more detail in Chapter 7, in the early 21st century, Australia made it increasingly easy for international students to secure permanent residency at the end of their studies Baas, Here, stimulating inward student mobility was understood. Regulation and student rights Different national approaches to international education and educational mobility are also played out in the different ways in which countries choose to regulate such provision.

    There was, therefore, no attempt to regulate directly the quality of transnational education that took place; this was left largely to market mechanisms. In Malaysia, however, relevant legislation was driven by the aim of advancing specific nationalist goals such as building local infrastructure, reducing the outflow of students and preserving particular values.

    Thus, strict regulation was put in place to ensure that higher education met what the government perceived to be the cultural and economic needs of the country. Specifically, formal approval was required to establish an educational institution, and also for each individual course that was run. This led to measures including: standard entry requirements for new providers with the aim of protecting existing institutions ; a quality assurance system to maintain the credibility of Australian HE in an increasingly competitive market ; and requirements of greater accountability from all providers McBurnie and Ziguras, National disparities in regulatory frameworks are matched by similar differences in the rights accorded to mobile students in various parts of the world Deumert et al.

    As Deumert et al. Moreover, national governments are under no particular pressure to address this issue as international students are not citizens of the host country and, for sending countries, they have moved outside their jurisdiction. Deumert et al. The importance of the local Finally, there is some evidence to suggest that it is not only nation-states that are important mediators of global influence.

    For example, over recent years the Japanese government has taken steps to promote internationalization across the HE sector and, specifically, to encourage inward migration of overseas students to help fill a shortage of highly skilled workers. However, on the basis of a survey conducted by Yonezawa et al. A similar degree of resistance to global pressures has been documented in some American states. While, taken as a whole, the US plays an important role in both encouraging and facilitating student mobility, there are some notable local disparities.

    For example, Marginson and Rhoades note that in some American states there is pressure to limit the proportion of out-of-state students and international students, in particular, who attend public universities — on the grounds that state taxes should be used to fund education for state residents only.

    Conclusion The movement of students across the world in pursuit of a higher education is strongly affected by education policies, and also by policies in other areas, including employment and immigration. This relationship is, however, reciprocal: although much student movement is influenced by relevant policy, it also informs and stimulates it, for example as individual nations and universities seek to increase their attractiveness to potentially mobile students.

    In this chapter, we have sought to explore the complexity of policy in this area and assess its main drivers. This influence is evidenced through the significant diversity in national approaches to student mobility and the ways in which national governments themselves contribute to the shaping of international organizations. These themes provide an important background to the actual practices of mobility in different parts of the world.

    It is to these case studies that we now turn, focussing firstly on migration by students from East Asia. Introduction Although increasingly discussed in terms of globalization, as the chapters in this book attest, the reality of international education is geographically highly uneven and far from global in scope and reach. In this respect, Asia — and particularly East Asia — has a disproportionately important role to play in global mobility patterns.

    The majority of all international students originate from Asia and most of these come from a relatively small number of countries — China, Malaysia, Hong Kong, South Korea and Singapore. Although the figures surrounding international flows of students are contested and inconclusive based on differing, country-specific methods of reporting , they point to one clear fact — that East Asia is the most important source of international students globally British Council, — although see Bone, ; OECD, ; OECD, This chapter intentionally focusses on the people who lie behind the numbers and statistics pertaining to international education and the mobility of students.

    It draws together various qualitative empirical studies of East Asian students abroad,1 to consider their personal and social motives for, and experiences of, international education and mobility. In what follows, we examine some specific themes that have emerged out of a study of the contemporary academic literature on East Asian student mobility.

    Whilst the literature brings to light some distinct differences between the mobility of students from East Asia and those from Europe and the UK discussed in Chapter 4 and 5 , it also We begin this chapter, however, with a brief discussion of the most significant contextual factors, within which contemporary East Asian student mobility is embedded. Contextualizing and embedding mobility: structural factors The international mobility of students from East Asia over the last 30 or so years corresponds to a number of socio-economic and political changes in the region.

    A remarkable transformation of the Asia-Pacific regional economy occurred from the mids onwards, particularly in Taiwan, Singapore, Hong Kong and South Korea Dicken, With economic growth, the class structure of these East Asian societies was transformed and a new middle-class of capitalists and professionals emerged Robison and Goodman,