Project

European Network on International Student Mobility: Connecting Research and Practice (ENIS)

Goal: Over the past decades, international student mobility (ISM) in higher education has expanded rapidly. This growth has sparked a considerable interest in ISM within different disciplines, research communities, and circles of practitioners and policy makers. However, there is surprisingly little connection and exchange among researchers across these spheres. In addition, ISM scholarship remains strongly restricted to scientific circles, despite the relevance that scientific knowledge on ISM has for policy and daily practice. This COST Action responds to the pressing need for systematic interdisciplinary and international exchange of knowledge on theoretical frameworks, research methodologies, findings, and best practice examples, and for translating scientific findings into recommendations for ISM practice. It is organised around five working groups, four of them addressing themes in need of scientific development, and a fifth one bringing together recommendations for practice:

(1) Global ISM flows and trends at the macro-level;

(2) Social inequalities in access to and during ISM;

(3) The social and cultural integration of international students in their host countries;

(4) The impact of ISM on graduates’ careers;

(5) Connecting research and practice.

The COST Action brings together established researchers, early-career investigators (ECIs) and PhD students from different scientific disciplines, countries, and research communities as well as stakeholders from international offices, international student and study abroad organizations, and different policy levels. It will offer comparative and practical insights into ISM dynamics by bringing together fragmented knowledge. Its main aim is to generate new interdisciplinary and innovative empirical insights on ISM and to translate these insights into tangible recommendations for stakeholders.

Date: 5 October 2021 - 4 October 2025

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Project log

Judith Borras
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Judith Borras
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Author: Eva Maria Vögtle & Michael Windzio
Fragile institutions act as a push factor by increasing outbound student mobility. In addition, reputation of a higher education system impacts on the countries’ role as a favoured study destination.
 
Judith Borras
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Authors: Yentl Schoe, Christof Van Mol & Michael Buynsters
One of the first qualitative papers in ISM that follows social network formation of students over time - unfortunately fieldwork got interrupted by the Covid-19 pandemic. Our findings reveal the importance of three main contexts in the initial social network formation of Erasmus+ students, namely the pre-mobility phase, the living place, and the social space. These findings provide insights for practitioners on which contexts to focus on when developing strategies to foster the integration of international exchange students at host institutions.
 
Judith Borras
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Author: Ewa Krzaklewska
This article considers their modes of belonging in super-mobility- this novel way of practising mobility within higher education calls for new frames to describe the distinctiveness of the super-mobility experience and how belonging is enacted and reflected in this transnational space.
 
Judith Borras
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Author: Guillerme Gwenaëlle
This paper outlines a contemporary understanding of global competence for engineers, as understood by European engineering companies, and presents the main findings of the Tools for Enhancing and Assessing the Value of International Experience for Engineers (TA VIE) project, launched in 2018. Situational judgment tests (SJTs), or scenario-based approaches were used to measure eleven global competences.
 
Judith Borras
added an update
The paper uses an innovative experimental methodology to explore 1) what drives exchange students to select a particular destination; 2) which destination attributes are the most important in driving exchange students’ decision-making; and 3) To what extent the effect of the destination attributes varies according to students’ previous experiences of cross-border mobility and/or transnational practices, as well as their academic performance.
 
Judith Borras
added an update
Author: Sin Yee Koh
This article provides an analysis of transnational education as a component of the soft infrastructure of China's Belt and Road Initiative (BRI), using the case of Xiamen University Malaysia (XMUM). It finds that students' narratives/practices reinforce but also present alternatives to the imaginaries, affinities and subjectivities that Chinese transnational education institutes seek to produce through the vehicle of the BRI.
 
Judith Borras
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Author: Cosmin Nada
Drawing on an innovative methodological approach, this paper indicates that even short-term international experiences such as Erasmus can have long-lasting and transformative learning effects on students.
 
Judith Borras
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This paper voices the opinions of international students’ from China and India, and highlights the intentional process of integrating their perceptions of internationalization into a strategic service delivery plan.
 
Judith Borras
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In this study, Zeynep Köylü examines the influence of pre-departure proficiency on English as a second language (L2) oral development after a semester studying abroad in two distinct learning contexts. The data analysed were collected from tertiary level students (N = 33) who undertook an ERASMUS exchange semester in a European country where English was either the official language (e.g. England) or used as a lingua franca in the university context (e.g. Germany).
Journal: The Language Learning Journal
 
Judith Borras
added an update
In this paper, Zeynep Köylü and Nicole Tracy-Ventura compare the L2 learning of English in this new English as a lingua franca study abroad (ELFSA) context to Anglophone SA and AH in terms of oral and written complexity, accuracy, and fluency gains. Participants’ perceptions of contextual differences concerning the amount of language contact, use, development, and their views toward English are also explored qualitatively.
Journal: Studies in Second Language Acquisition
 
Judith Borras
added an update
This article by Ewa Krzaklewska and colleague considers their modes of belonging in super-mobility- this novel way of practising mobility within higher education calls for new frames to describe the distinctiveness of the super-mobility experience and how belonging is enacted and reflected in this transnational space.
Journal: Mobilities
 
Judith Borras
added an update
This paper by Guillerme Gwenaëlle and colleagues outlines a contemporary understanding of global competence for engineers, as understood by European engineering companies, and presents the main findings of the Tools for Enhancing and Assessing the Value of International Experience for Engineers (TA VIE) project, launched in 2018. Situational judgment tests (SJTs), or scenario-based approaches were used to measure eleven global competences.
 
Judith Borras
added an update
In his paper, Markus Breines & colleagues explore "following" as a mobile method to embrace and articulate the dynamic and non-linear character of ethnographic research practices.
 
Judith Borras
added an update
Steve Entrich argues how Japanese children from high SES families are more likely to study abroad and consider long-term stays more often, indicating undetected first- and second-level horizontal inequalities.
 
Judith Borras
added an update
Sarah Jane Lipura & colleague draw attention to the #diversification of #ISM, the need to challenge normative #ISMdiscourses ISM's uneven landscape, & the need for inter/cross-disciplinary conversations between and among ISM scholars and researchers.
 
Judith Borras
added an update
In this paper, Fine Cordua and Nicolai Netz discuss how societal gender roles, gender-specific interest profiles and educational performance can explain female over-representation in international student mobility.
#HigherEducation
 
Judith Borras
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Nicolai Netz summarizes the existing research on the outcomes of studying abroad and he develops and agenda for future research in this field.
#HigherEducation
 
Judith Borras
added an update
In this paper, Nicolai Netz reviews quantitative studies that empirically examine whether studying abroad influences graduates’ wages.
#journalofinternationalstudents
 
Judith Borras
added an update
Charles Mathies published an interesting new paper on stay rates of international graduates.
 
Judith Borras
added an update
New special issue on heterogeneous effects of studying abroad in higher education, edited by Vice-Chair Nicolai Netz, and with fine contributions of many Action members!
 
Judith Borras
added an update
In this paper, Anita Kéri, Vangelis Tsiligiris and Jeremy Eng-Tuck Cheah explore the relationship between student individual culture and service quality expectations in higher education in this article. Find out more information here: https://www.emerald.com/insight/content/doi/10.1108/QAE-11-2020-0137/full/html
 
Judith Borras
added an update
In their paper, John Cullinan, Darragh Flannery and Donal Palcic found that on study abroad programme participation and subsequent academic performance that while there is no independent association between study abroad and subsequent academic performance on average, there are differences across the performance distribution and benefits for language students. Interested? Here:
Journal: Education Economics
 
Judith Borras
added an update
Benjamin Mulvey explores Global Inequality, Mobility Regimes and Transnational Capital of African Student Migrants in China and delineates three post-study trajectories in this paper. Find out more here: https://journals.sagepub.com/doi/full/10.1177/00380385211037574
Journal: Sociology
 
Judith Borras
added an update
How important is to listen to students’ needs? In this article, Jesus Rodriguez-Pomeda and Adriana Perez-Encinas (ENIS Science Communication Coordinator) explore what the needs of Chinese and Indian students when studying abroad. Download it for free here:
Journal: Tertiary Education and Management
 
Judith Borras
added an update
Ying Yang published the following research piece about Chinese Students’ Application to UK Universities in Uncertain Times From the Perspective of Education Agents:
Journal: Journal of International Students
 
Judith Borras
added an update
In this study, Miroslav Bahna contrasts intergenerational social mobility of internationally degree-mobile students who returned to their country of origin with that of those who found employment abroad. The results show that the intergenerational reproduction of occupational status is notably weaker among ISM non-returnees. Read it here: https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1002/psp.2425
Journal: Population, Space, and Place
 
Judith Borras
added an update
In this piece, Emre Guvendir explores how far mobile students’ language affiliations are aligned to languages’ wider geopolitical significance, and how far they are influenced by personal and sociocultural factors, and the study abroad (SA) experience itself. Check out more here➡️
 
Judith Borras
added an update
In this paper, Judith Borràs and Angels Llanes explore the potential benefits of participating in an international experience in terms of L2 reading and vocabulary development. Find it here: https://benjamins.com/catalog/sar.21015.bor
Journal: Study Abroad Research in Second Language Acquisition and International Education
 
Judith Borras
added a research item
This study investigates the impact that a semester-long study abroad program has on the L2 reading and vocabulary development of a group of Catalan/Spanish bilinguals learning English as an L2 ( n = 30). Another objective is to determine whether gains in participants’ vocabulary and reading – if any – are related to their initial L2 proficiency and L2 vocabulary level. Participants were administered (1) a reading text, (2) the Updated Vocabulary Levels Test, (3) a written essay, (4) a placement test and (5) an online questionnaire before and after their SA experiences. The results suggest that the sojourn was positive for participants’ reading comprehension, receptive vocabulary and lexical accuracy, but not for reading fluency, lexical fluency, lexical density and lexical sophistication. It was also found that the students’ initial L2 vocabulary and proficiency level were related to gains in receptive vocabulary and reading comprehension.
Judith Borras
added an update
In this paper, Thais França analyses a potential devaluation of their mobility capital, somewhat undermining the raison d’être of much student mobility. Read it here: https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/full/10.1080/17450101.2021.1967094
#Mobilitiesjournal
 
Nicolai Netz
added a project goal
Over the past decades, international student mobility (ISM) in higher education has expanded rapidly. This growth has sparked a considerable interest in ISM within different disciplines, research communities, and circles of practitioners and policy makers. However, there is surprisingly little connection and exchange among researchers across these spheres. In addition, ISM scholarship remains strongly restricted to scientific circles, despite the relevance that scientific knowledge on ISM has for policy and daily practice. This COST Action responds to the pressing need for systematic interdisciplinary and international exchange of knowledge on theoretical frameworks, research methodologies, findings, and best practice examples, and for translating scientific findings into recommendations for ISM practice. It is organised around five working groups, four of them addressing themes in need of scientific development, and a fifth one bringing together recommendations for practice:
(1) Global ISM flows and trends at the macro-level;
(2) Social inequalities in access to and during ISM;
(3) The social and cultural integration of international students in their host countries;
(4) The impact of ISM on graduates’ careers;
(5) Connecting research and practice.
The COST Action brings together established researchers, early-career investigators (ECIs) and PhD students from different scientific disciplines, countries, and research communities as well as stakeholders from international offices, international student and study abroad organizations, and different policy levels. It will offer comparative and practical insights into ISM dynamics by bringing together fragmented knowledge. Its main aim is to generate new interdisciplinary and innovative empirical insights on ISM and to translate these insights into tangible recommendations for stakeholders.