Educational Mobility and Citizenship: Chinese “Foreign Talent” Students in Singapore and Indian Medical Students in China

Living reference work entry


This chapter builds a conceptual framework for understanding the relationship between educational mobility (with a focus on international student mobility) and citizenship based on an exploration of existing literature and applies this framework to examine empirical findings. Conceptually, citizenship is conceived on two varied levels: narrowly as a nationally based legal status and more broadly as an informal sense of belonging and agency in transnational contexts. It is argued that citizenship in the narrower definition intersects with student mobility mainly around the issues of skill formation and population strategies under the framework of the nation-state. In contrast, educational mobility relates to the broader notion of citizenship through the concept of “global citizenship,” which in turn comprises two different emphases – the cultural and the political. Having set out such a conceptual scheme, the chapter uses two recent empirical studies of student mobilities within Asia – a case of Chinese “foreign talent” students in Singapore and a case of Indian medical students in China – to provide insights into how individuals experience the complex and sometimes conflicting relationships between international educational mobility and citizenship. To date, intra-Asia educational mobility has received limited research attention, and thus potentially offers a unique perspective on citizenship and education.


International student mobility Educational mobility International education Citizenship Global citizenship 


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Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.National Institute of Education, Nanyang Technological UniversitySingaporeSingapore

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