‘I’m not like that, why treat me the same way?’ The impact of stereotyping international students on their learning, employability and connectedness with the workplace

Abstract

A significant body of literature on international education examines the experiences of international students in the host country. There is however a critical lack of empirical work that investigates the dynamic and complex positioning of international students within the current education-migration nexus that prevails international education in countries such as Australia, Canada and the UK. This paper addresses an important but under-researched area of the education-migration landscape by examining how the stereotyping of students as mere ‘migration hunters’ may impact their study and work experiences. It draws on a four-year research project funded by the Australian Research Council that includes more than 150 interviews and fieldwork in the Australian vocational education context. Positioning theory is used as a conceptual framework to analyse how generalising international students as ‘mere migration hunters’ has led to the disconnectedness, vulnerability and marginalization of the group of international students participating in this research.

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Notes

  1. 1.

    PR is the abbreviation of permanent residency commonly used in Australia.

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Acknowledgments

We are grateful to the anonymous reviewer for his/her helpful comments which help us considerably improve this paper. We acknowledge with thanks the valuable insights shared by our participants and the funding from the Australian Research Council for this project.

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Correspondence to Ly Thi Tran.

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Tran, L.T., Vu, T.T.P. ‘I’m not like that, why treat me the same way?’ The impact of stereotyping international students on their learning, employability and connectedness with the workplace. Aust. Educ. Res. 43, 203–220 (2016). https://doi.org/10.1007/s13384-015-0198-8

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Keywords

  • International students
  • International education
  • Employability
  • Stereotyping
  • Education-migration nexus
  • Work experiences