RGS-IBG Annual International Conference 2018

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234 Landscapes of Education - Migrations and Mobilities (2)
Affiliation Population Geography Research Group
Convenor(s) Suzanne Beech (Ulster University, UK)
Johanna Waters (University College London, UK)
Chair(s) Suzanne Beech (Ulster University, UK)
Timetable Thursday 30 August 2018, Session 4 (16:50 - 18:30)
Room Tower Building - Lecture Theatre 0.03
Session abstract Lately, geographies of education seem to have come alive to debates focusing on mobility and migration and how these affect and influence educational experiences. The scope of these mobilities can vary from more localised internal mobility, to international migrations designed to achieve the best possible education outcomes, to transnational education strategies put in place by education providers or governments, to name but a few. Research in this area has developed across the spectrum of education from primary through to higher education experiences.

Recognising this bounty, this session welcomes papers which address and capture the diversity of scholarship on educational migrations and mobilities, whether focusing on formalised or informal education and whether from the perspective of students, households, education practitioners and facilitators, or policy. Furthermore, given that these debates lend themselves both to quantitative and qualitative study, we encourage papers from all methodological perspectives.

Topics for consideration include but are not limited to:
• insights into mobility/migration in primary, secondary and tertiary education contexts;
• short term or credit-bearing mobilities;
• international student perspectives and experiences;
• transnational, internal and/or international student migration/mobilities;
• policies and strategies which facilitate education migrations;
• perspectives and insights from education providers, teachers and instructors.

Linked Sessions Landscapes of Education - Migrations and Mobilities (1)
Contact the conference organisers to request a change to session or paper details: ac2018@rgs.org
International Work Placements: International Youth Mobility and Work
Helena Pimlott-Wilson (Loughborough University, UK)
Sophie Cranston (Loughborough University, UK)
Emma Bates (Loughborough University, UK)
This research looks at an under studied aspect of educational mobilities: international work placements undertaken as part of student’s degrees. Young people are increasingly expected to undertake activities that will enable them to create positional advantage in a competitive labour market (Pimlott-Wilson, 2015). This includes engagement in a raft of co-curricular and extra-curricular activities, accumulating social and cultural capital in order to stand out from their peers (Holdsworth, 2015). It is well-documented that higher educational mobility advantages students who migrate from the global south to global north for Anglophone qualifications on return home (Waters, 2006). A growing body of work explores UK students who complete part (Deakin, 2014) or their entire studies overseas (Brooks et al, 2012). Yet this research overlooks the decisions of those who choose to work overseas as an integral part of their UK university degree, typically for a year. Work placements can be seen as a method through which employability can be achieved, with international placements set to continue to grow in popularity as part of the internationalisation agendas of UK Universities. This paper focuses on understanding how students experience international work placements, and the impact that this form of educational mobility has upon young people’s career aspirations.
“Greenlandic students have more rights than Danish students”: beyond socio-economic justice in education, reading the educational inequalities by individual experiences of Greenlandic students in Denmark
Marine Duc (Bordeaux Montaigne University, France)
There has been a growing body of works dealing with students’ flows in a context of globalized education (Brooks & Waters 2017, King 2012, Prazeres 2013, Theim 2008): international student mobility is highly positively considered, both at a personal and at the economical level (Waters 2006 and 2015), which can lead to an injunction to be mobile (King, 2018). However, very few works reflect on the student mobility from isolated regions. In the context of low density spaces and a lack of higher education provision, the mobility regime described as a result of neoliberalism is questioned. Thus, leaving for studying is for some students, an obligation. In Greenland, which is today a highly autonomous subnational island jurisdiction within the Kingdom of Denmark, higher educational provision is very limited: a small local university in Nuuk, offering mainly bachelor-level courses and a few professional training programs (social work, fisheries, mining and building industries). This paper will address the role of public support for Greenlandic students: despite a high-level of public support to facilitate their access to Danish universities, they still have a drop-out rate much higher than the national average. Building on the first insights of an exploratory fieldwork conducted in Greenland between March and May 2018, I will focus on the role played by the public support which facilitate and shape the mobilities of Greenlandic students. I will argue that beyond strong material support, individual experiences of students may reveal other forms of inequalities in front of access to higher education.
International Student Mobility to the UK in the Context of Brexit: A Case Study of Prospective Student Migrants from the Czech Republic
Filip Němeček (University of St Andrews, UK)
In light of the recent success of the Brexit vote, uncertainty exists about the effects it could have on international student mobility to the UK. This paper analyses drivers of student migration to determine, if and how does the prospect of the UK leaving the EU influence the likelihood of prospective students from the EU countries becoming students of British universities. The Czech Republic is used as a case study and the issue is tackled through a combination of questionnaires for secondary school students and interviews with secondary school teachers. Eight schools participated in the research, 479 questionnaire responses were collected and five interviews were conducted.
The findings suggest that the opportunities to attend some of the world’s best universities, gaining new experiences and enhancing post-graduate employment are the main drivers of student migration, whereas financial considerations are the main reason against studying abroad. Whereas the Brexit vote does not have any immediate effect on most students’ migratory decisions, students’ interest in study in the UK may decrease in the future, particularly if the Brexit results in a rise in tuition fees or limited work opportunities in the UK.
Inequalities in access to educational mobility in Switzerland: the case of language study programmes
Lucas Haldimann (University of Lausanne, Switzerland)
Marieke Heers (University of Lausanne, Switzerland)
Patrick Rérat (University of Lausanne, Switzerland)
Young adults’ temporary educational mobility experiences are considered as having positive outcomes, such as improved professional perspectives. The aim of this paper is to shed light on the discriminating factors that differentiate individuals experiencing an educational mobility, here defined as a linguistic stay in another country for at least one week, from those who do not have such an experience.
This paper uses the data of the 2016-17 edition of the Swiss Federal Surveys of Adolescents, focusing on the theme of mobility. While the literature has mostly concentrated on mobile young people and neglected other parts of the population, this dataset allows examination of an entire cohort of young adults over a two-year period. It consists of about 50,000 18-20 years old male Swiss citizens who take part in the recruitment process of the army and a sample of 2,000 young women.
In our analysis, we apply the theoretical framework of the life-course (Smith, Rérat, and Sage 2014), with a focus on socio-familial, migration, and educational/professional trajectories (Rérat 2014). In addition to these structural determinants, we also integrate psychological indicators (van der Zee and van Oudenhoven 2000). We use a multinomial logistic regression to compare individuals who have completed a linguistic stay to the non-mobile young adults.
Our results show that young adults of higher social classes are more mobile, and university students too. We also find evidence that mobility reproduces itself: individuals who have had a mobility experience are more likely to experience another. On the other hand, independent of social class, psychological characteristics also contribute to explaining access to educational mobility.