Prior to the pandemic, more and more international students were studying abroad and the growth of mobility is expected to resume as soon as that becomes possible. According to the UNESCO Institute of Statistics, 5.6 million students crossed borders to pursue a higher education degree in 2018. Regardless of international students’ increasing significance, most existing scholarly work positioned them in deficit models, neglecting their agency. Self-formation theory, by contrast, provided a novel perspective by positioning international students as strong agents and focusing on their holistic development in international higher education.
Against this backdrop, this webinar will present recent empirical data on self-formation in international higher education. It will build on a recently finalised doctoral study that included qualitative data from 50 Turkish international students who studied in four purposefully selected destination countries: Azerbaijan, Bulgaria, Germany, and the UK. The findings support the positioning of international students as active individuals and provide evidence for how contextual dynamics may play out in student self-formation in international higher education. The findings also indicate that self-formation in international higher education takes places through at least three domains: the educational domain, the social domain, and the civic domain.