Theorising the spaces of student migration

Raghuram, Parvati (2013). Theorising the spaces of student migration. Population, Space and Place, 19(2) pp. 138–154.



Student migration is a key component of knowledge migration. However, as knowledge becomes a central part of migrant selectivity, labour and family migrants too are involved in knowledge acquisition, both prior to and after migration. At the same time, student migrants are involved in work and family, just like other migrants. What then is distinctive about student migrants? This paper attempts to address this challenge. It begins by reviewing how migration theories have analysed student mobility. It then suggests that migration theorists need to extend existing analyses, which have primarily focused on the spatialities of migration, to take account of the spatialities of knowledge. It is argued that knowledge institutions need to reach out to people in different parts of the world and to produce in prospective students a desire to circulate. This is necessary if the institutions are to obtain a global presence and to maintain their legitimacy as knowledge brokers. An analysis of student migration where the inducements that the Higher Education Institutions offer to prospective students and the subjective responses of such students to these invitations will throw light on how the spatiality of knowledge is achieved and also highlight the distinctiveness of student migration in a knowledgeable migrant world.

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