1st Edition

Intellectual Migration The Movements of Students and Professionals

Edited By Wei Li, Lucia Lo, Yixi Lu Copyright 2025
    228 Pages
    by Routledge

    Employing the intellectual migration analytical framework, this book examines the dynamics of student and professional migration. Intellectual migration encompasses a spectrum where higher education students and professionals at various life stages move to pursue intellectual credentials that can promote career development. Besides exploring the link between internal and international migration, chapters in this book investigate how key notions of the intellectual migration framework — intellectual capital, intellectual nodes, intellectual gateways, and intellectual peripheries — affect the spatial and social mobilities of migrants. They address issues like the (un)certainty of partaking intellectual migration, the agency-structure dynamics behind migration decisions, and the value of intellectual capital in the migration process. For illustrative purposes, the empirical work selected for this book primarily, but not exclusively, focuses on movements between China and North America. The applicability and value of the intellectual migration framework, with its bi- and multi-regional appeal, is not restricted to these two regions. Apart from being insightful scholarly reference work, this book can serve as a textbook in migration studies, China studies, American studies, and geography and sociology courses. It was originally published as a special issue of the Journal of Ethnic and Migration Studies.

    Wei Li, Lucia Lo, and Yixi Lu

    Introduction: the intellectual migration analytics     

    Wei Li, Lucia Lo, and Yixi Lu


    1. To study abroad or not, and why? Exploring Chinese university students’ postgraduate intentions

    Yixi Lu, Jason Jean, and Zheng Lu


    2. Students on the move? Intellectual migration and international student mobility

    Lucia Lo, Wei Li, and Yining Tan


    3. Intellectual capital and student mobility

    Yining Tan, Lucia Lo, Wei Li, and Guanglong Pang


    4. The impact of the COVID 19 pandemic on motivation to stay: a comparison between Chinese and non-Chinese international students in Nova Scotia, Canada

    Eugena Kwon, Min-Jung Kwak, Gowoon Jung, Steven Smith, Kazumi Tsuchiya, Emmanuel Kyeremeh, and Michael Zhang


    5. International students in China: regional distribution and macro-influencing factors

    Zheng Lu, Yixi Lu, Lucia Lo, Haihua Zhu, and Jason Jean


    6. China-born scholars’ intellectual capital: a network approach

    Xiaojie Li


    7. Global education trajectories and inequality: STEM workers from China to the US

    Siqiao Xie


    8. Comparing Chinese academic returnees in Chengdu and Guangzhou: reasons for return, choice of destination, and onward migration intention

    Yixi Lu, Jason Jean, and Ling Ma


    9. Skilled US migrants in the Pearl River Delta Region: the rise of an intellectual gateway in China

    Yining Tan, and Wei Li



    Wei Li is Professor at School of Social Transformation, School of Geographical Sciences and Urban Planning, Arizona State University, USA.


    Lucia Lo is Professor Emerita at the Faculty of Environmental and Urban Change, York University, Canada


    Yixi Lu is Associate Professor at Southwestern University of Finance and Economics, China.