Factors for attracting educational migrants (on the example of Siberian universities)

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Abstract


The attractiveness of the Russian higher education system and the country in general for educational migrants in the perspective of the theory of ‘human capital’ is considered in the article as a migrant’s individual choice based on assessing costs/benefits of one’s further life trajectory as a specialist. The authors focus on the regional aspect of educational migration - to Tomsk and the Tomsk Region, in which the scientific-educational complex is a city-forming one, and the share of students (including foreign ones) is among the highest in the country. The article considers the quality of ‘foreign student - host community’ relations, the regional media presentation of migration as affecting the public opinion, and the possibilities of social media for the social-psychological support for migrants as the most important factors for choosing/rejecting the region and its higher education system. The empirical basis of the article consists of the semi-structured interviews with educational migrants, regional Internet media focusing on migration, and educational migrant communication in the Russian social networks. According to the research data, the interethnic situation in the Tomsk Region is estimated by educational migrants as favorable; however, in the host community there is a hierarchy of attitudes towards different national-geographical segments of educational migration; many region’s residents do not show hostility to foreign students but believe that further educational migration must be stopped, which is probably due to the negative information discourse of regional media on labor migrants. Social networks as a supporting communicative infrastructure partially hinder negativity and indifference of the host community acting as an emotional-compensatory diaspora quasi-institution that turns the social capital of communication into economic preferences and psychological satisfaction.


About the authors

T A Bulatowa

Tomsk state pedagogical university

Author for correspondence.
Email: bulatowa@mail.ru
Kievskaya St., 60, Tomsk, Russia, 634061

A P Glukhov

Tomsk state pedagogical university

Email: GlukhovAP@tspu.edu.ru
Kievskaya St., 60, Tomsk, Russia, 634061

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