COVID-19 and the Race for International Students: Mobilities and Migrations in a Post-Pandemic World

Activity: Talk or presentationInvited talk


This paper offers reflections on the importance of international student mobilities and the migration industries that
have emerged as a result, whilst also considering how the global pandemic may change these narratives. Given the
rampant neoliberalisation of the higher education system in the UK, for many universities, a healthy international
student recruitment is essential for their survival. This is evidenced by the myriad of efforts (requiring significant
financial outlays) that universities go to in order to keep their numbers buoyant and which this paper introduces. Yet,
many of these have relied on mobilities to enable marketing and engagement opportunities, and at the outset of the
COVID-19 pandemic there were concerns that the course of the pandemic in the UK and the immobilities it created
would have untold impacts upon this. The paper will consider the actions taken by some universities to mitigate against
this, as well as questioning how the pandemic impacts upon the sustainability of the higher education system both in
the UK and beyond.
Period5 Nov 2020
Event titleInternational Student Mobilities and Post-Pandemic Futures in the Asia-Pacific
Event typeWorkshop