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Rebordering Britain & Britons after Brexit

Remain, Return, or Re-migrate? The (Im)mobility Trajectory of Mainland Chinese Students after Completing Their Education in the UK

Abstract

The migration of Chinese students to the UK has long been the focus of academic and policy-making attention. However, what happens to their transnational mobility after their education remains understudied. This article unpacks the migration decision-making process behind graduates' study-to-employment transition. We focus on individuals' on-going reinterpretation of capital convertibility between China and the UK and examine how the meaning of mobility changes in time and in the transnational socio-economic environment. In so doing, we draw on in-depth interviews with graduates who have remained in the UK, as well as with returnees. Our findings reveal our participants' periodic uncertainty about professional opportunities and attendant mobility choices in the context of fast-paced socio-economic change in China and in the UK. The article thus calls for a more supportive post-study work policy environment for international students in the UK, especially in the context of uncertainty about Brexit.

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Journal

International Migration

Authors

Mengwei Tu (China)

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