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Accepted Paper:

Scholarships and student mobility in the Global South: learning to return  
Monty King (The University of Western Australia)

Paper short abstract:

This paper investigates students' use of open online learning resources in Dili Timor-Leste. Many study to prepare for scholarship applications to countries such as Australia. Scholarship recipients enact a particular form of structured mobility contingent on their return after graduation.

Paper long abstract:

This paper is a work in progress, part of an ethnographic research project investigating the uses and utility of open online learning for university students in Dili, Timor-Leste. Field work was conducted between 2015 and 2017 with students at the Universidade Nacional Timor Lorosa'e (UNTL), studying English in to apply for coveted international development scholarships to universities in countries such as Australia, the United Kingdom and the United States. For many, the educational resources available via the internet present an opportunity to develop the literacies required to achieve their educational aspirations and accrue cultural and social capital. Data were collected via interviews of individual students and small groups, facilitating and observing blended Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs) and by 'hanging out' around the central campus speaking to students.

The research revealed the students negotiating a set of social structures which both constrain and enable practice- Southern agency- and previous work has begun to outline the defining characteristics of this idea (King, Forsey, & Pegrum, 2019, forthcoming). The motivation to move in order to study suggests a form of mobility underexplored in the literature. Students who are successful in applying for international scholarships are bound by the terms of those scholarships to go back to their country when they have completed their studies. Previous ethnographic studies of education and (im)mobility have drawn focus upon Learning to Labour (Willis, 1977), Learning to Leave (Corbett, 2007) and Learning to Stay (Forsey, 2015). This paper proposes learning to return.

Panel B10
Education and young migrants' 'return' mobilities
  Session 1 Thursday 5 September, 2019, -