Resilience, Moorings and International Student Mobilities: Exploring Biographical Narratives of Social Science Students in the UK

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Whilst research into the changing landscape of the UK Higher Education (HE) has produced a burgeoning literature on ‘internationalisation’ and ‘transnational student mobility’ over the past few years, still fairly little is known about international students’ experiences on their way to and through the UK higher and further education. Frequently approaching inter- and transnational education as ‘neutral’ by-products of neoliberal globalisation, elitism and power flows, much HE policy and scholarly debate tend to operate with simplistic classifications of ‘international students’ and therefore fail to account for the multifaceted nature of students’ aspirations, mobilities and life experiences. Drawing on the notion of ‘resilience’ and insights from the ‘new mobilities paradigm’, this paper envisages alternative student mobilities which run parallel or counter to the dominant flows of power, financial and human capital commonly associated with an emerging global knowledge economy. Engaging with ‘resilient’ biographies of social science students studying at three UK HE institutions, the paper challenges narrow student classification regimes and calls for a critical re-evaluation of the relationship between international student mobility and other contemporary forms of migration, displacement and diaspora.
Original languageUndefined
Publication statusPublished - 2 Nov 2015

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