Ethics and the Canadian Higher Education/Migration Nexus


This dissertation focuses on ‘edugration’ (an amalgamation of ‘education’ and ‘migration’), arguing that the growing recruitment of international students as ‘skilled’ migrants is a distinct form of economic immigration and shifts the role of higher education in society. Using Canadian policy as an example, it frames edugration as a ‘wicked problem’ and thinks through its ethical complexities and paradoxes, particularly those related to settler colonialism, surveillance, and border imperialism. Two chapters show how higher education institutions (HEIs) are actors in Canada’s (1) (im)migrant selection and (2) migrant surveillance regimes. A third chapter examines the explicit rhetorical capitalization of HEIs’ position as immigration actors in new ways, particularly in response to COVID-19 budget concerns. Finally, a fourth chapter uses COVID-19’s impacts on Canadian immigration to illustrate how horizons of justice – e.g. how we define justice, and for whom/what – are often constrained by scale, gesturing towards different possibilities for conceptualizing mobility justice.

Name: Lisa Ruth Brunner
Degree: PhD
Status: In progress (expected completion 2022)
Supervisor: Vanessa Andreotti and Sharon Stein
Department: Educational Studies
University: University of British Columbia
Email: lisaruth@student.ubc.ca