The Golden Solution: Conceptualizing International Education

By Sinziana Chira.

Published by The Learner Collection

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Article: Print $US10.00
Article: Electronic $US5.00

This analysis draws attention to the descriptions and expectations historically associated with international education by governmental actors and international students, as they express some of the reasons for the presence of international students in Western universities. This research suggests that the contemporary clustering of international students in Western universities reflects the historical conceptualizations and regulatory actions of Western states that have come to form and develop current understandings of what international education means and how it should be governed. An analysis of descriptions of international education in historical perspective reveals that this type of education was expected by Western governments, during the colonial period and the Cold War, to serve Western agendas. During these periods, high expectations were associated with international education, as this type of education was to help achieve ambitious goals such as Westernizing colonial subjects or containing Communist ideologies. A contemporary analysis of governmental activities and individual views still reflects the trend of high expectations associated with international education, transforming this type of education into a ‘golden solution’ of sorts, described as capable of solving a variety of timely issues, from offering students the possibility to become internationally mobile workers to helping governments in the war against global terrorism.

Keywords: Higher Education, International Education Policy, International Students’ Migration, Colonial Era, Cold War

The International Journal of Learning, Volume 15, Issue 10, pp.257-264. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Article: Electronic (PDF File; 489.621KB).

Sinziana Chira

PhD Candidate 2011, Dalhousie University, and Research Fellow, The European Union Centre of Excellence, Department of Sociology and Social Anthropology, European Union Centre of Excellence, Dalhousie University, Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada

After graduating from Jacobs University Bremen, Germany, with a BA degree in Integrated Social Sciences, I joined the team of sociologists and anthropologists at Dalhousie University. Upon completing my MA in Sociology, I have commenced a PhD in Sociology in the fall of 2008 at the Department of Sociology and Social Anthropology at Dalhousie University, where I also hold a research assistantship position at the European Union Centre of Excellence. Being a migrant myself, I find my personal experiences have helped me focus my interest on the study of transnational education programs as well as education migration policy. This article is based on the research conducted at Dalhousie University towards my MA thesis, “The Privileged Few: International Education Migration” (2008).

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