Higher Education

, Volume 67, Issue 3, pp 235–253 | Cite as

A “research” into international student-related research: (Re)Visualising our stand?

  • Doria Abdullah
  • Mohd Ismail Abd Aziz
  • Abdul Latiff Mohd Ibrahim


This paper uses Tight (High Educ Res Dev 23(4):395–411, 2004; High Educ Res Dev 31(5):723–740, 2012; High Educ Res Dev 32(1):136–151, 2013)’s journal analysis and review framework to review a sample of 497 journal articles on researches concerning international students over the past 30 years. It was found that a majority of the articles focus on the students’ in-campus, academic and social experience. Even with different conceptualisation of the terms “international student” and “international student mobility”, international students undergo similar challenges throughout their sojourn duration, and much of the responsibilities in managing international students fall on universities and respective faculty members within the institutions. It might seem as if we are going in circles in terms of the issues and concerns in managing international students, but the silver lining out of this observation is the increased ethnical awareness among countries and higher education institutions in hosting and safeguarding the students throughout their international higher education experience, albeit rather slowly. The analysis brings to attention how much have we achieved in internationalisation of higher education in general and international student-related research in particular, and the potential for greater expansion and focus on managing the student population within a comprehensive “life cycle” approach.


Internationalisation International students Experience Higher education International student mobility Overseas students Foreign students Journal analysis and review framework 



This research is supported by the research grants identified by the following codes under the Research Management Centre, Universiti Teknologi Malaysia: 01H56 (Funding source: Research University Grant, Universiti Teknologi Malaysia) and 4B045 (Funding source: Ministry of Higher Education Malaysia). The authors would like to thank the three anonymous reviewers, the coordinating editor and the editorial office for constructive and helpful criticism of the version originally submitted to the journal. Grateful appreciation is also extended to Ms Teo Shieh Lin, Research Officer at the Office of Deputy Vice Chancellor (Student Affairs and Alumni), for her assistance in the preparation of this paper.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  • Doria Abdullah
    • 1
    • 2
  • Mohd Ismail Abd Aziz
    • 2
  • Abdul Latiff Mohd Ibrahim
    • 2
  1. 1.UTM Perdana School of Science, Engineering and Innovation PolicyUniversiti Teknologi Malaysia Kuala LumpurKuala LumpurMalaysia
  2. 2.Universiti Teknologi Malaysia (UTM)Johor BahruMalaysia

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