A Comparative Perspective of Romanian and British International Students

  • Abstract:

    The aim of this article is to offer a comparative overview between the mobility of international students from Romania and the United Kingdom. Why are Romanian students choosing to study abroad, in new academic environments, whilst British students are apparently less willing to do so? By comparing educational policies and the number of Erasmus students from the two countries we are hoping to explain, beyond economic and cultural differences, why this dichotomy exists. Furthermore, we are interested in understanding if the destinations of choice for students are evolving. To do this we plan on using a social network approach to analysis so that we can locate students within evolving mobility networks. We will be utilizing data from the European Union and OECD for this facet of our study. After studying the educational policies from the last five years for both Romania and the UK, as well as the official statistics for international students, we will then attempt to explore students’ perceptions of mobility opportunities. How students are informed about the possibility of studying abroad is also very different. In Romania there is quite assertive publicity, through mass-media and social network websites, by contrast this is far less commonplace in Britain where policy-makers appear to place a greater emphasis on keeping “their brains”. The method by which the two countries present international study is an important aspect of our article. Between, “brain gain” and “brain drain”, in the internationalization and globalization era, our article aims to present the differences between the students of these two countries, and offer tools as to how more students could be made aware of chances to study internationally.