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Experiences of Mexican doctoral students supported by the CONACYT international mobility scholarship programme

López Murillo, Karla Alejandra; (2021) Experiences of Mexican doctoral students supported by the CONACYT international mobility scholarship programme. Doctoral thesis (Ph.D), UCL (University College London). Green open access

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Abstract

The exploration of scholarship programmes supporting International Student Mobility (ISM) has largely focused on their human capital benefits. In most of these studies, however, students´ voices, identity negotiations and the implications of socio-cultural differences on their international experiences are absent. This research aims to explore the array of capabilities former Mexican doctoral students supported by the National Science and Technology Council (CONACYT) international scholarship programme acquired through ISM. The research seeks to further our understanding of the transformative nature of ISM associated with the individual meanings of their experiences and its implications for social change. Following a mixed-methods approach, quantitative data was gathered through surveys from 120 participants from a unique larger sample of former doctoral students supported between 1997 and 2008 by the CONACYT programme. Next, a smaller subset of participants was purposefully selected to conduct 34 in depth semi-structured interviews to explore their international experiences and personal meanings, and if there were associations with their further life trajectories. The main findings of this research show, firstly, how personal, social and environmental heterogeneities and previous educational opportunities informed the participants´ decision-making processes for ISM, revealing a complex mix of drivers linked to particular life experiences and aspirations. Secondly, it identifies three types of students based on their degree of cultural identity centrality, and cultural flexibility: isolators, adapters and integrators. This typology helps to understand the students´ levels of adaptation, the ways in which social relations are forged and how the overall international experience is negotiated. Thirdly, this research shows the potential of ISM contributing to the reduction of gender inequalities and the adoption of positive gender attitudes through the interaction with more egalitarian societies. Further, the findings indicate that accompanying partners and children lived individual transformative experiences and developed their own set of capabilities. Finally, the interviews revealed the development of intercultural understanding, the widening of worldviews and the expansion of life and professional opportunities. From a human development lens, the CONACYT scholarship programme fosters through ISM, the development of capabilities, social mobility, gender equality, social participation and social change.

Type: Thesis (Doctoral)
Qualification: Ph.D
Title: Experiences of Mexican doctoral students supported by the CONACYT international mobility scholarship programme
Event: UCL
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
Language: English
Additional information: Copyright © The Author 2021. Original content in this thesis is licensed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International (CC BY-NC 4.0) Licence (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/4.0/). Any third-party copyright material present remains the property of its respective owner(s) and is licensed under its existing terms. Access may initially be restricted at the author’s request.
UCL classification: UCL
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Education
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Education > UCL Institute of Education
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Education > UCL Institute of Education > IOE - Education, Practice and Society
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/10122361
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