At a time when the future of higher education funding remains uncertain, and with students part of an ever-expanding international knowledge network, universities will need to compete further for students at not only a national, but an international scale. A greater understanding of the geographies involved in student decision making could assist in the tailoring of universities’ internationalisation and marketing policies, thus allowing them to focus upon their comparative advantages in order to attract international attention. However, as of yet, this area of research remains underdeveloped. My paper uses information recently gleaned from an online survey and focus groups with international and overseas students at three UK universities, namely the Queen’s University of Belfast, the University of Aberdeen and the University of Nottingham, to demonstrate how their geographical imaginings played an influential role in their choice of university. It suggests that international students are motivated to seek tertiary education abroad not only by the quality of the degree on offer or the reputation of (scholars in) various universities, but also through a variety of cultural factors. These may be unique to the region, or even the university, in which they choose to study, and can play an important role amongst students contemplating higher education abroad. Whether these cultural factors are ‘real’ or based on ‘imagined’ stereotypes and perceptions of place matters not; it is their influence over the students themselves that sets them apart as worthy of note.
|Publication status||Published (in print/issue) - 2011|
|Event||Young People’s Mobilities and International Education - London, United Kingdom|
Duration: 24 Jun 2011 → 24 Jun 2011
|Other||Young People’s Mobilities and International Education|
|Period||24/06/11 → 24/06/11|