June 10 HERG Seminar

The next HERG seminar will be held on June 10, 2016!
12:00 Noon
Ponderosa Commons Oak House, UBC
Room 1008 (please note this is a room change)

Dale McCartney, PhD student in Educational Studies

Inventing International Students: Canadian parliamentary debate about international students, 1945-69

Although there is a growing literature examining international student policy in Canada, very little of it examines the historical development of that policy. “Inventing International Students” historicizes international student policy by looking at the ways in which policy makers – specifically Canadian parliamentarians – talked about international students in the period after WWII.  This paper argues that international students were seen as vehicles for other political agendas, or as representatives of social or political crises that had little to do with international students themselves. Some of the discourses that international students were invested with in this period still shape policy discussion today. This study has two important insights for the study of internationalization higher education. One, it makes an important and original contribution to the policy analysis of international student policy in Canada, which lacks both this sort of historical perspective and the understanding provided by examining policy talk. Specifically, it helps historicize some elements of modern discourses about international students by examining their historical roots. Moreover, the paper reminds us that to understand international student policy at any time we need to see it in a larger socio-educational context, linked with immigration, foreign policy, and international economics. Contemporary international student policy is built on this historical foundation – understanding that foundation is key to understanding modern policy debate.

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