The migration of post-secondary students is an increasingly debated phenomenon as the number of students living outside of their home country has risen to more than three million in the past decade. Governments, regions and institutions have developed new structures and strategies to facilitate and benefit from this worldwide student movement. This research article uses Fairclough’s (1993) notion of critical discourse analysis to explore the relationship between two distinct discourses on foreign students: national-level economic competitiveness and institutional-level student success. A comparative approach examines these discursive events in the four leading, Anglophone destination countries: Australia, Britain, Canada and the United States. The findings suggest that foreign students are objectified as tradable units in the market-driven discourse of economic development with student support literature providing a buffer that limits the critique of the economic discourse. At the same time, potential exists for current events to highlight the tension surrounding the two discourses and provide new opportunities for dialogue.

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Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License.