Capabilities and the “Value” Flows of International Graduate Returnees and Their Networks

Journal of International Students
Publication Type:
Journal Article
Journal of International Students, 2020, 10, (2), pp. xii-xv
Issue Date:
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There is no shortage of assumptions about the economic benefits of international education for international students, graduates, and their home countries. At the individual level, the success stories are about improved employability in the local labor market. These stories, though, are often filled with accounts of personal struggles and systemic barriers relating to cultural adjustment, institutional structures and political contexts of the workplace, lack of research environment, technological and industrial infrastructures, and stigmatization of international students in the home countries. At the national level, returning graduates’ acquired knowledge and skills are assumed to translate to quality human resources and national productivity that meet their country’s economic development needs. Yet, there are limited studies with conclusive evidence of improved human capital or increased productivity as a result of studying abroad. Although there is some attention to how sending countries can attract students back such as repatriation schemes, which stipulate conditions of study abroad scholarships, there remains little attention to evaluating the effectiveness of these initiatives. The context and contradictions of various institutional and national policies and different countries’ development needs, as well as graduates’ circumstances that impact their choices and experiences, point to multifaceted outcomes and impacts of international education. Important as they are, contributions of returning international graduates to their society remain curiously underresearched and undertheorized.
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