UBC Graduate Research

Higher educational institutions as emerging immigrant selection actors : a history of British Columbia’s retention of international graduates, 2001–2016 Brunner, Lisa Ruth


In an effort to more efficiently utilize immigration to mitigate the negative economic impacts of falling population rates, some governments are shifting from human-capital to demand-driven immigrant selection approaches. While employers are typically seen as the resulting non-governmental selection actors, recent niche but growing immigration programs are repositioning higher educational institutions as additional yet inadvertent selection actors, typically unaware of their role. To illustrate the complexities inherent in this policy evolution, I historically trace the past 15 years of immigration selection design targeting international students in the Canadian province of British Columbia and highlight potential implications in light of increasing internationalization. I argue that educational policy researchers need to further understand and engage with the development of increasingly intertwined yet previously neglected policy areas – in this instance, immigration – as higher education assumes new roles in public life.

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