Friends, Family and Acquaintances: The Role of Social Networks in International Student Decision Making

Research output: Contribution to conferencePaper

Abstract

The last two decades have witnessed a dramatic increase in – and unprecedented numbers of – students choosing to study overseas for the duration of their university degrees. Indeed, they are increasingly part of international knowledge networks, allowing them to study (almost) anywhere they wish provided they have the funds to do so. My doctoral research investigates the motivations behind these mobilities and how students choose where to study. While showing that reputation, cost and job prospects all have a role to play in this process, the research also suggests that students are influenced by the opinions and experiences of those around them, frequently using their social networks to assist them in their final decision of where to study. This paper seeks to establish how these friendship and kinship networks are embedded within the decision making of international students by drawing on evidence from three UK universities. In short, the students in question are influenced by diverse range of networks encompassing friends, family, acquaintances and, at times, even relative strangers who offer advice, not only about the universities and the courses at their disposal, but the cities and the regions as well.
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusPublished - 2012
Event2nd International Conference on Geographies of Education - Loughborough University, Loughborough, United Kingdom
Duration: 10 Sep 201211 Sep 2012

Conference

Conference2nd International Conference on Geographies of Education
CountryUnited Kingdom
CityLoughborough
Period10/09/1211/09/12

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    Beech, S. E. (2012). Friends, Family and Acquaintances: The Role of Social Networks in International Student Decision Making. Paper presented at 2nd International Conference on Geographies of Education, Loughborough, United Kingdom.