This online workshop will bring together scholars from across Europe to share current work and formulate new inter-disciplinary perspectives about the nature of the challenges facing international student mobility.
In many European nations, governments have placed considerable importance on processes of internationalisation within the higher education sector and, in particular, on further enhancing international student mobility (ISM). Attracting inward mobility is seen as an effective means of: developing more diverse campuses, furthering the inter-cultural experiences and skills of ‘home’ students; bolstering the financial position of higher education institutions through the fees paid by incoming students; and exerting ‘soft power’ when graduates return home. Outward mobility has also increasingly come to be prioritized as a means of enhancing the inter-cultural skills of students (and thus, it is assumed, their employability).
Nevertheless, at the present moment, ISM within Europe faces a number of important challenges associated with:
This seminar will engage directly with these challenges.
The seminar will consist of two online sessions as follows:
1 July - 12.30-15.00 (UK time)
2 July - 10.00-12.30 (UK time)
Prof Rachel Brooks, Department of Sociology
Prof Amelia Hadfield, Dean International, Department of Politics
Prof Matthias Parey, Department of Economics
Dr Anesa Hosien, Surrey Institute of Education
Dr Sazana Jayadeva, Department of Sociology
Prof Johanna Waters, UCL
Dr Daniel Faas, Trinity College Dublin
Prof Maria Slowey, Dublin City University
Dr Suzanne Beech, University of Ulster
Dr Georgina Mihut, Economic and Social Research Institute, Ireland
Dr Aline Courtois, University of Bath
Dr Kirsty Finn, Manchester Metropolitan University
Registration is not yet open for this event. More information will follow soon.
The call for papers for this workshop has now closed.
International student mobility (ISM) is of considerable importance to policymakers and university leaders across Europe, as well as to the many students who move across national borders for all or part of their higher education. Nevertheless, ISM within Europe currently faces a number of important challenges associated with: (i) the changing political context – related to, for example: Brexit; the growing significance of China on the world stage and as an increasingly popular destination for mobile students; and the emergence of various other ‘regional hubs’, which offer a cheaper international alternative than Europe to prospective students; (ii) increasing awareness of the environmental costs of physical mobility and the responsibility of HEIs with respect to climate change, alongside the impact of global health concerns, brought into sharp relief by the COVID-19 pandemic; and (iii) the socio-economic characteristics of mobile students – despite some initiatives to widen participation, those who move remain more likely to be from socially privileged families and, where opportunities have been opened up more broadly, they have tended to become stratified, with those from lower income families clustered in schemes of lower academic quality and in less prestigious universities.
We hope that a selection of the papers given at the workshop can be included in a special issue of a journal.
Theme 1: Brexit and other geo-political challenges
Key questions: How is Brexit likely to reconfigure patterns of student mobility? How will decisions about student mobility (taken by national and regional policymakers, and institutional leaders) articulate with other political considerations? What impact will decisions have on students’, staff and policymakers’ understandings of the ‘European higher education space’? What other geo-political shifts are likely to affect mobility to, from and within Europe? How should national governments, individual institutions and other social actors respond?
Theme 2: Health and environmental challenges
Key questions: How are vital health and environmental concerns (relating, particularly, but not exclusively, to COVID-19 and climate change) reshaping patterns of student mobility, and policy and practice within both higher education institutions and national ministries of education? To what extent is physical mobility central to ISM, and can adequate alternatives (e.g. ‘internationalisation at home’, distance education, transnational education) be conceived?
Theme 3: Socio-economic challenges
Key questions: What do we currently know about the socio-demographic profile of students moving to/from and within Europe for higher education? What are the mechanisms underlying observed inequalities, and what are the key challenges in opening up mobility opportunities to a wider cross-section of the student population? What examples of good practice can we draw upon?