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A Review of Qualitative Student Mobility Research in Canada

January 2024

Authors: Janice Aurini, Emerson LaCroix, Mrittika Dreesha, Maria Brisbane, Vanessa Iafolla (University of Waterloo)

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Executive Summary

Research on student mobility in higher education continues to be of enduring interest to researchers and policy stakeholders. In this article, we present the qualitative "twin" to Pizarro Milian and Zarifa’s (2021) paper mapping the quantitative research on student transfer in Canada. Drawing on 75 peer-reviewed articles and reports published between 1991 and 2022, we systematically review the major findings and expose data and methodological gaps within the existing Canadian qualitative transfer literature. We present a clear roadmap for filling these gaps, but also flag some of the methodological hurdles that researchers will need to overcome.


  • Student decisions, experiences, and outcomes
  • Program pathways, course transfer, and prior learning