Understanding international student migration: the case of Nigerian Christian women students engaged in postgraduate studies in UK higher education

Oluwaseun, Stella (2016) Understanding international student migration: the case of Nigerian Christian women students engaged in postgraduate studies in UK higher education. PhD thesis, University of Nottingham.

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This thesis explores the motivations and lived experiences of Nigerian Christian women engaged in postgraduate studies in UK higher education based on 20 semi-structured interviews. For this group of women, their educational quest abroad is happening at the phase in the normative life course when they are expected by Nigerian society to be wives as well as mothers. Such cultural expectations carry social sanctions for non-conformity.

This thesis investigates the immense social pressures the women come under as their educational achievements are not considered as important as the fulfillment of their social roles in their home country, and the strategies/negotiations they engage in to gain and maintain support for their educational pursuit. Being that they are studying and living in an egalitarian society like the UK, the thesis also examines why the women remain attached to Nigerian patriarchal values.

Using empirical data, the thesis attempts to challenge and critique the current debates on international student migration that portray it as an individualized process and international student migrants as a homogenous group. It argues that the participants’ motivations and migration experiences are gendered and embedded in social relationships and processes. Furthermore, the thesis claims that the set of women interviewees are not just engaged in academic study alone as the literatures tend to portray international student migrants, they are also family members (wives/mothers/daughters) and workers, who consciously juggle their multiple roles in an order that seems to prioritize their social roles above the rest. The thesis asserts that the women are not victims; rather they are agentic beings whose compliant attitudes to patriarchal gender structures and roles are rooted in their religious and cultural beliefs.

Item Type: Thesis (University of Nottingham only) (PhD)
Supervisors: O’Connell Davidson, Julia
Treacher Kabesh, Amal
Keywords: International student migration, Nigeria, gender, lived experiences
Subjects: H Social sciences > HQ The family. Marriage. Woman
L Education > LB Theory and practice of education > LB2300 Higher education
L Education > LC Special aspects of education > LC 65 Social aspects of education
Faculties/Schools: UK Campuses > Faculty of Social Sciences, Law and Education > School of Sociology and Social Policy
Item ID: 35116
Depositing User: Oluwaseun, Stella
Date Deposited: 02 Aug 2016 08:54
Last Modified: 16 Dec 2017 01:38
URI: https://eprints.nottingham.ac.uk/id/eprint/35116

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