International student mobility and highly skilled migration : A comparative study of Canada, the United States and the United Kingdom
With the rise of the knowledge economy and aging population, advanced industrial countries seek to address their skill shortage and promote national skill bases through highly skilled migration. As a result, recruiting international students, especially those at tertiary levels, has been integrated into national strategies to compete for global talent. In spite of the widely recognized significance of recruiting international students to a high skill economy, the uneven growth in foreign enrolments among host countries, geographically oriented source regions and destinations of the students, and limited post-graduate stay rates suggest important questions about governments’ commitment to attracting and retaining international students. A main purpose of this comparative study is to identify and assess specific national strategies and their goals of managing international student mobility. Changes in international student policies, in particular entry and immigration regulations, and the trends in student mobility in Canada, the United States and the United Kingdom since the 1990s are examined drawing on secondary data. The results suggest that rather than strictly relying on market forces, nation states address and cope with the “pressure point” of skill upgrading in a strategic and political way. The management of international student mobility, among other national strategies aiming at a high skill society embraces a collective goal of national interest shaped by the political economy in each nation.
political economy, highly skilled migration, International students
Master of Arts (M.A.)