Reconceptualizing International Student Mobility

A Multipolar Structure Lens


  • Xing Xu Sichuan International Studies University



international student mobility, multipolar structure, epistemological multipolarity, sustainability


This article examines shifting patterns in International Student Mobility (ISM), primarily the move from a South-North paradigm to a more multipolar structure. With emerging education hubs in South Korea, Malaysia, India, the Gulf States, and China challenging the West's centrality, the study advocates a more nuanced approach to ISM research. It underscores the necessity of a geographical turn towards non-traditional areas and promotes a multipolar epistemology that privileges non-Western knowledge creation. The article also encourages investigation of sociocultural dynamics related to ISM, and suggests exploring underrepresented perspectives such as ethnicity, ecology, and gender in the post-pandemic world.

Author Biography

Xing Xu , Sichuan International Studies University

Dr. Xing Xu is a lecturer at Sichuan International Studies University, China. Her research interests include internationalization of higher education, international student mobility, identity construction of overseas Chinese students, and qualitative inquiry. She has published journal articles that appear in Higher Education, Higher Education Research and Development, Journal of Studies in International Education, The Australian Educational Researcher, Reflective Practice, etc. She can be contacted via email:


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How to Cite

Xu , X. . (2023). Reconceptualizing International Student Mobility: A Multipolar Structure Lens. Journal of International Students, 13(2), i-iv.