Research panel at the 18th IMISCOE Annual Conference
Luxembourg, 7-9th July 2021
IMISCOE Standing Committee on Education and Social Inequality
The Covid-19 pandemic has affected individuals in societies across the world, including students, higher education staff, and study abroad facilitators. As international borders were temporarily closing, many higher education institutions had to completely suspend their face-to-face activities, develop ad-hoc strategies to take care of international students, and switch to online teaching. Amid widespread uncertainty in higher education, many foreign students had to cope with the drastic changes in their learning and socialization routines, or even with an abrupt disruption of their study abroad experience.
The Covid-19 pandemic also influenced students’ future plans to become internationally mobile. While some students had to entirely reconsider their plans to study abroad or postpone their study abroad experience, others faced the choice to go to countries where they had not previously planned to sojourn.
These developments had an impact on international student mobility at the micro-, meso-, and macro-level. Against this background, we invite authors to present papers that are inspired by, but not limited to, one or several of the following questions:
- What strategies were put in place by governments and institutions to support foreign students, e.g., return programmes, special visas, access to national health facilities and other social benefits, housing schemes, or psychological support?
- What strategies have been developed to restrict or encourage international student mobility at the national level? What differences are discernible between countries regarding institutional responses to the pandemic?
- What are the main challenges and concerns of foreign students regarding the pandemic? And which creative coping strategies have students developed in this context? To what extent can these strategies inform learning and teaching in the future?
- How did international students adapt to online learning? How can more sustainable formats of education exchange be established in study programmes to ensure both internationalisation and cross-cultural training? To what extent does virtual motility help to achieve the same goals as international student mobility? What (new) skills and competences are required for institutions, teaching staff, and students to support high-quality study abroad experience during and after the pandemic?
- How did pre-existing social inequalities affect students’ experiences and what does the pandemic teach us about foreign students’ vulnerabilities? Did the pandemic affect the social inclusion of certain groups of students more strongly than the social inclusion of others?
- What is the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic on macro-level patterns of international student mobility? Are new destinations emerging or do students still follow the traditional routes towards the largest host countries? What factors can explain potentially shifting patterns?