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International Higher Education Ambitions and Regional Migration Supports

  • K.C. Ho

Abstract

Higher education in East Asia is at an important historical juncture where its flagship universities are locked in a race to internationalise. In this restructuring, international students become a critical element in university and national strategies, as a key resource to strengthen university research and to augment the skilled labour force of a country. This article examines the issue of student migration at three scales. First, an idea of the regional magnitude of student movements is determined by examining inbound and outbound movements of students moving out of their home countries to study abroad within Pacific Asia (East and Southeast Asia). Second, by using Singapore as a case study, the paper examines the role of state policy in the internationalisation of higher education. We see how state and university policies shape the new work of flagship universities. And third, by drilling down further and using a survey sample of National University of Singapore international students, the main body of the paper examines the process of decision making, the elements which attract students to Singapore, their adjustment process, and their plans after graduation. This paper argues that the internationalisation of education brings about a powerful set of influences to the host society particularly when there are policies facilitating foreign students and their insertion into the host economy and society. Far from being a small temporary minority locked away in ivory towers, foreign students become the focus of policy, a talent that is sourced, a pillar supporting the economy, the hope of new marriage formation and the arrest the fertility decline, and an essential ingredient in the resultant multicultural society.

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International Higher Education Ambitions and Regional Migration Supports

  • K.C. Ho

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