Research on Mobility of Foreign Students and its Implications for Policy

Here are two interesting research articles, I came across on international student mobility.
1. How to Attract Foreign Students by Arnaud Chevalier
In this paper, author provides an overview on how international student mobility can be beneficial for all participants including migrating students and those who remain at home, as well as home and host countries.
It shares a simple model of student migration based on the economic models where “individuals invest in education to increase future income. They choose to invest if the income increase over their lifetime is greater than the cost (including effort) incurred for their education. The decision to study abroad is determined in this model by the costs of education in both countries, the differences in the returns to skills in both countries, and the costs of (return) migration—including non-financial costs such as family circumstances.”
The author asserts that “[o]pen-visa policies that allow foreign graduates to remain in the country after completing their studies and a thriving labor market are two factors that attract more and better student migrants.”
2. The Determinants of International Mobility of Students by Michel Beine, Romain Noël and Lionel Ragot
In this paper, authors have analyzed the determinants of the choice of destination of international students. They use a multi-origin multi-destination framework to identify the main factors at stake. “Relying on a small theoretical model of human capital investment, [they] focus on two types of factors: those affecting the migration costs such as distance and migrants’ network at destination and those affecting the attractiveness of the destination such as the quality of universities, education costs and host capacity.” The authors estimate the importance of those factors using data covering more than 180 origin countries and 13 OECD destination countries which cover more than 75 % of the total international student migration flows. Two major findings are:
– Network effect: The presence of home country nationals at the destination country increases its attractiveness.
– Quality of education: The perception of quality of institutions adds to the attractiveness of the destinations.
The research findings imply that while international student mobility is complex and it is important to understand its interconnection with national policies–both host and destination countries have a role to play in making sure that brain exchange pattern is mutually beneficial.