KPU Arts Speaker Series to present on international students and policy

The final presentation of the semester will be delivered by KPU instructor Conrad King

Source: Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada, 2017. (Government of Canada)

On March 31, KPU political science instructor Conrad King will be wrapping up this semester’s Arts Speaker Series with his presentation “Governing Complexity: Future-proofing Higher Education Internationalization in Times of Uncertainty.”

In collaboration with a team of other researchers looking at Australia, New Zealand, and the United Kingdom, King specifically looks at why international students come to study in Canada and what factors influence that decision.

Their research is designed to fill in the gaps in knowing where international students choose to study, but not necessarily knowing why.

“Our weak understanding of [why] means that we could be creating durable policies that aren’t terribly effective at appealing to international students perhaps, but also, having international students have a meaningful educational experience in the countries that they come to,” says King.

Researching why international students make the education choices they do could not only shed light on how universities’ policies may need to change, it also could highlight how students need to be consulted more about the policies that concern them, he says.

During the presentation, King and his student research assistant Helen Vong will overview the multi-site research project, and then more specifically look at the research they’ve done in Canada with KPU as their case study.

While it is still early in the research project, King says that because the team of researchers are all using the same methods to collect their data, eventually they will be able to do a cross-analysis of the four countries.

After this first phase of research exploring why students choose the places they study, the next question they plan to address is how well higher education institutions consult with their international students when it comes to creating policies.

From there, they’ll look at what they can do with all the data, findings, and analysis.

“The hope is that we’ll be able to come out of the end of this with recommendations and say ‘Well, this is how you future-proof your higher education sector against the slings and arrows of COVID disruption, the unexpected events of political instability…things like that. We’ll be able to have meaningful recommendations for policy makers that will be responsive to students,” says King.

As to why students should attend, this research directly involves and looks at student lives and examines the importance of their involvement in policymaking, he says.

It will also provide the audience with a general understanding of globalization and how policies are made.

“This is a way of looking at how the sausage gets made in terms of higher education policies, the actors that go into it, the factors that go into it in terms of policymaking, and it’s really fundamentally asking the question ‘What more could we be learning from students?’” he says.

The event will be held at 1:00 pm on March 31, and to receive the Microsoft Teams link for the event, you can email artsevents@kpu.ca.

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