The Impact of the COVID-19 on International Higher Education: The Emerge of New Forms of Internationalization

Guoguo KE, Ziwei ZHOU*, Jilin DUAN

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Book Chapters | Papers in Conference ProceedingsBook ChapterResearchpeer-review


With the rapid development of the massification of higher education, the growth of international mobility plays an important role in shaping the internationalization of higher education and increasing international student numbers. However, the impact of COVID-19 has significantly influenced international mobility, including student, academic staff, and program mobility, and in response the model is being shifted from physical to online education. Furthermore, the unavoidable changes provide an alternative for international students, which allows them to cope with the mobility crisis. In other words, virtual mobility or internationalization at home creates new forms of internationalization in higher education. Numerous articles discuss student mobility before the COVID-19 pandemic, and several studies reveal the motivation behind student mobility under the pandemic. However, fewer scholars pay attention to the effect of virtual mobility. Therefore, based on a literature review and second-hand survey data, this chapter analyses the impact of COVID-19 on the internationalization of higher education in the past two years, new forms of international mobility, and the perspective from both students and staff. In addition, this chapter further provides recommendations for the future development of the internationalization of higher education, especially with the new normal.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationCrafting the Future of International Higher Education in Asia via Systems Change and Innovation
EditorsAngela Yung Chi HOU, Joshua SMITH, Ka Ho MOK, Chao-Yu GUO
PublisherSpringer Singapore
Number of pages18
ISBN (Electronic)9789819918744
ISBN (Print)9789819918737, 9789819918768
Publication statusPublished - 30 Jun 2023

Publication series

NameHigher Education in Asia
VolumePart F3
ISSN (Print)2365-6352
ISSN (Electronic)2365-6360

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
The international mobility of academics or faculty staff is another feature of the internationalization of higher education. The international mobility of academics is an inevitable consequence of globalization and a manifestation of academic work without borders. It represents the free movement of intellectual capital and the contribution of knowledge transfer to national innovation and competition (Shen, 2020). More and more countries are attracting doctoral students, postdoctoral researchers, and scholars to join their research schemes or attracting academic staff working abroad to return to their home countries by offering scholarships, salaries, and work benefits. Some countries and regions enhance the research capacity and output of individual research universities through selective investment grant programs. In addition, government-funded formal international exchange programs facilitate cross-border activities and increases international intervention. The programs broaden the perspectives of teachers and strengthens ties across nations. The government considers mobility to play an important role in the acquisition of more advanced scientific research knowledge in western countries for scholars. The faculty are expected to contribute to their respective fields by utilizing the acquired knowledge and expertise from the exchange program. For example, the government of Canada launched the Emerging Leaders in Americas Program (ELAP) in 2009 to support the development of human capital and to reinforce the connection between Canadian universities and higher education institutions in Latin America and the Caribbean (EduCanada, 2021). Mainland China and Hong Kong also adopted the Hong Kong Scholars Program (2022), which is funded by the Society of Hong Kong Scholars and the China National Postdoctoral Council under the Ministry of Human Resources and Social Security. The goal of the program is to train outstanding talent and combine Hong Kong and mainland research resources to help professors build academic and scientific collaboration between the two places.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2023, The Author(s), under exclusive license to Springer Nature Singapore Pte Ltd.


  • Internationalization of higher education
  • COVID-19
  • International student mobility
  • Online mobility
  • Internationalization at home


Dive into the research topics of 'The Impact of the COVID-19 on International Higher Education: The Emerge of New Forms of Internationalization'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this