The role of institutional contexts for social inequalities in study abroad intent and participation – Evidence from Japan

26.01.2023 18:30 - 20:00

A hybrid u:japan lecture by Steve R. Entrich (University of Potsdam).


| Abstract |

The expansion of international student mobility (ISM) has become a central issue in educational policy. Governments around the world have implemented programs to internationalize higher education and promote ISM among future workers. However, existing research amply demonstrates that students’ socioeconomic status (SES) strongly influences study abroad intent and participation. Students whose parents have a higher education degree, abundant financial resources and/or high occupational status (higher-SES students) are generally more likely to (intend to) study abroad than lower-SES students.
   Previous research explained this pattern as the result of individual choices related either to SES-specific endowment with economic, social and cultural capital or cost-benefit assessments and probabilities of successfully completing stays abroad. Only recently have scholars directed their attention to the role of institutional contexts for students’ (SES-specific) chances of studying abroad. While this research did not empirically examine the relevance of actual ISM opportunity structures for (SES-specific) SA intent and participation, it remains unclear whether opportunity structures installed to foster ISM benefit all students, help reduce socioeconomic inequality, or exacerbate it.
   We address this research gap focusing on Japan. We intend to narrow the outlined research gaps by integrating context effects into a framework that combines rational choice theory (RCT) and the life course perspective (LCP). We test the resulting hypotheses using a multi-level approach (MLA). MLA allows us to determine the relative importance of SES and other individual factors relative to contextual factors, and thus to assess the importance of ISM opportunity structures for SA intent and participation, and corresponding social inequalities. Unlike earlier studies, we examine the effects of ISM opportunity structures at the university level on SA intent and participation under control of various individual-level factors. Using a nationwide and largely unexploited dataset from Japan, which we supplement with university-level data, we address the politically charged question about the role of universities’ ISM opportunity structures for (social inequalities in) SA intent and participation: Has Japan’s recent push towards internationalization of higher education created more opportunities for social distinction of the affluent, resulting in increasing horizontal inequalities, or rather narrowed corresponding SES gaps?

| Bio |

Steve R. Entrich is interim Professor for Inclusion and Organizational Development at the Department of Education, the University of Potsdam, Germany. His research focuses on comparative, social science and empirical-quantitative educational research as well as educational policy analyzes on Japan, Germany, the USA and in international comparison with special emphasis on social inequality. Recent research examines implications of transnational, supplementary, and inclusive education in Japan and in cross-national comparison. 

| Date & Time |

u:japan lecture | s05e13
Thursday 2022-01-26, 18:30~20:00
max. 50 participants (on site) + max. 300 participants (online) 

| Place & Preparations | 

LIVE @ Campus of the University of Vienna
Department of East Asian Studies, Japanese Studies
Seminarraum JAP 1, 2K-EG-21, Ground floor to the left
Spitalgasse 2, Hof 2.4 (Campus), 1090 Vienna, Austria

Please bear in mind, that strict Covid19-precautions are enforced, therefore bring and wear a FFP2-mask and comply to university's house rules. Please visit these links for university's special and general information regarding the current restrictions.

| Plattform & Link |

| Further Questions? |

Please contact or visit


Department of East Asian Studies - Japanese Studies

Seminarraum 1 (2.4, EG)