Brokered Education Mobility: Study Abroad Agencies and Student Migration in Asia

Monday, 11 July 2016: 10:45
Location: Hörsaal 07 (Main Building)
Oral Presentation
Gracia LIU-FARRER, Waseda University, Japan
Every year millions of people move across national borders to study in overseas educational institutions. Student mobility has become one of the largest forms of human migration. At the same time, it is a structured and brokered mobility. Governments, schools and various private entrepreneurs participate in engineering, channeling and regulating student mobility. This migration industry is thriving in Asian countries such as China, Vietnam and Nepal. Based on interview data and government statistics, this presentation looks into the working of this industry that produces the different flows of students into Japan from China over the past three decades. I introduce the historical background as well as the changing organization and purposes of this industry; explain how they facilitate and process student migration; and analyze the causes for the needs of education brokers and the consequences of brokered education mobility on individual students, schools as well as both receiving and sending societies. I aim to show that international education, despite its idealized visions, is both a commodity and an efficient channel of labor import. These characteristics inevitably give rise to a flourishing migration industry.