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International Student Mobility in the Philippines: A Critical Analysis of Inbound Students Rational Decisions on Choice Destination for Study Abroad

Volume 4 - Issue 1, January 2020 Edition
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Anna Marie M. Sopoco, Amelita A. Gaerlan
Choice destination for study abroad; Higher Education Institutions; International Student Mobility; Rational Choice theory; Student hub
Anchored in the rational choice theory, this study is intended to critically analyze the status of inbound student mobility in selected universities in the Philippines. Exploratory in design, it utilized a mixed method to explore the students’ insights through an analysis of the data gathered from survey questionnaires and in-depth interviews. Thirty-five (N) inbound students were respondents to represent the international student population from selected universities in major regions of the country. Findings reveal that most international students enrolled, comprised mostly of Asians such as the Chinese and Indians who yielded 61.0%, while the rest are from Africa and other regions of the world. The respondents were primarily motivated by the reputation of quality education of selected universities in the Philippines which provide training for professions/skills needed in industries with high labor market demand abroad. Results also indicated “Quality-Affordability–Safe and Student-friendly” (QASSF) framework that characterizes the motivations that engaged the foreign students to choose the Philippines as their study destination abroad. As consumers of education industry, inbound students are rational and non- rational decision makers of the importance of investing time and funds for their education. The inbound students in the Philippines are described to be like practical people who prepare the future by investing in today’s relevant institutions of higher learning. They are patrons of reputable universities whose graduates get immediately employed or to start owned-business and enjoy their ‘return of investment’ (ROI) in international higher education.
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