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By Rachel Brooks, Johanna Waters (auth.)

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Finally, we focus on some of the pedagogical and social issues that are brought into sharp relief by significant increases in student migration. We consider the impact on knowledge creation and transfer, and on the inter-cultural experiences of both mobile and immobile students. To some extent, these changes can be seen as broadly positive: ushering in a more international curriculum in many subject areas in HEIs across the world; increasing the diversity Introduction 21 of student bodies; facilitating cross-national friendships; and encouraging a more cosmopolitan outlook amongst those who choose to study overseas (and, perhaps, amongst those they come into contact with).

2 Policy Context Introduction It is frequently asserted within the academic literature that education policy-making has undergone a fundamental change over recent decades. This argument has two particular strands: firstly, that policy is no longer determined at the level of the nation-state, but by a number of highly influential transnational organizations; and, secondly, that economic imperatives have come to outweigh all others. 471). In this analysis, the ‘internationalization’ of HE (including the increasing mobility of students in pursuit of a degree) is seen as a direct consequence of these changes.

289). In contrast, however, in this chapter we argue that while the changes brought about by both the growing international neo-liberal consensus and the increasing influence of international organizations are significant, individual nations retain considerable decision-making powers and can (and do) respond to the wider environment in different ways; indeed, there are complex articulations between global influences and the priorities of particular nations and regions. We also suggest that, in seeking to understand the imperatives that drive ‘internationalization’ in general and student mobility in particular, we have to look beyond merely the economic sphere.

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