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Talking about International Student Mobility (ISM) through the Voices of Individual British Students in China and Chinese Students in the UK

Zhao, Qun (2020) Talking about International Student Mobility (ISM) through the Voices of Individual British Students in China and Chinese Students in the UK. Doctoral thesis (PhD), Manchester Metropolitan University.

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Abstract

In the context of globalization and internationalization of higher education, my research explores International Student Mobility (ISM) through the lens of the everyday life and study experiences of British students in China and Chinese students in the UK. Central to the discussion are the results of thematic analysis and associated semi-structured interviews conducted with 10 British students and 10 Chinese students. The results suggest that, first of all, education mobility should not be confined to a framework that considers it as a separate life episode. Partaking in international education is a life trajectory embedded in students’ past experiences and future expectations. Different students therefore make sense of their education mobility experiences based on their different features. In addition, even though individual students’ mobility experiences differ from each other, there also exists some shared experiences for the 10 British participants and 10 Chinese participants respectively. These shared experiences reveal how students use their affirmative agendas actively and creatively to expand life spaces and search for more possibilities in host countries. Furthermore, based on the identification of ISM associated policy and practice contexts in the UK and China, my research makes better sense of individual students’ experiences in these contexts by presenting the interminglements between individual experiences and ISM-associated policy and practice contexts. Apart from these, my research also explores new possibilities of researching ISM by combining some traditional qualitative research methods with Deleuze and Guattari’s philosophy, and Koro-Ljungberg’s new thinking of data.

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