International student mobility and skilled migration: an analysis of government policy from the perspective of sending countries
AffiliationMelbourne Graduate School of Education
Document TypePhD thesis
CitationsGribble, C. (2010). International student mobility and skilled migration: an analysis of government policy from the perspective of sending countries. PhD thesis, Melbourne Graduate School of Education, The University of Melbourne.
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© 2010 Dr. Catriona Gribble
A consequence of the dramatic rise in international student mobility is the likelihood that many international students will remain in the country in which they study after graduation. Developed countries stand to benefit from international student migration as they are able to fill skill shortages with locally trained foreign students who also expand the demand for goods and services and add to gross national production. The effects on the sending country are potentially less favourable and the emigration of highly educated people can have a detrimental effect, depleting an already scarce resource. However, more recently it has been suggested that an increasing proportion of migratory movement is temporary and that sending countries may benefit from ‘circular’ or ‘temporary’ migration via financial remittances, technology transfer, entrepreneurial partnering and the development of personal networks and diplomatic ties. Skilled migration has long been a contentious subject, resulting in a large body of literature on the topic. Much has been written about health workers, engineers, teachers and other professionals in developing countries migrating to high income nations and leaving their homelands bereft of skills critical to economic and social development. Significant research has also been carried out on international student mobility, exploring how nations use international education to meet the rising demand for higher education associated with economic development. What is largely absent from any discussion concerning skilled migration or international student mobility is reference to international student migration. While some scholars and international agencies have begun to explore the broader ramifications of the trend for international students to remain in the host country post-graduation, there is relatively little published research on the topic. This project aims to deepen understanding of the ways in which governments in sending countries are responding to the likelihood that international students will remain in the host country, at least temporarily. Using specific studies of Singapore, Malaysia and Vietnam, the project provides analysis of the policies of nations experiencing an outflow of students under the headings of retain, return and engage. The findings of this project will assist national and global policymakers to manage international student mobility so as to promote the benefits for all concerned.
Keywordsinternational education; crossborder student mobility; skilled migration; brain drain; brain circulation
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