Sliding doors: strategic ambiguity in study visas to South Africa
AffiliationUniv Arizona, Dept Educ Policy Studies & Practice
role of higher education
MetadataShow full item record
PublisherROUTLEDGE JOURNALS, TAYLOR & FRANCIS LTD
CitationJenny J. Lee, Kopgang Paulidor & Yann Axel Mpaga (2018) Sliding doors: strategic ambiguity in study visas to South Africa, Studies in Higher Education, 43:11, 1979-1992, DOI: 10.1080/03075079.2017.1296825
JournalSTUDIES IN HIGHER EDUCATION
Rights© 2017 Society for Research into Higher Education
Collection InformationThis item from the UA Faculty Publications collection is made available by the University of Arizona with support from the University of Arizona Libraries. If you have questions, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
AbstractThis study sought to investigate international students' experiences with the study visa immigration policy in South Africa. The theoretical framework utilized to investigate international students' experiences with the study visa process is 'strategic ambiguity,' defined as deliberate ambiguous statements and positions for the accomplishment of goals. In the case of study visas, a country provides written immigration requirements, but there is considerable discretion by its many actors, conceptualized in this study as 'street-level bureaucrats,' in regard to how the application components are interpreted and processed. The international students' reported experiences were uneven and varied, without clear patterns by country of origin, university, or students' backgrounds, suggesting the metaphor of sliding doors to indicate that not all encountered major obstacles in the same way, but rather largely attributable to unforeseeable luck. The study has implications on how strategic ambiguity occurs in immigration policies and procedures with varied experiences and outcomes for those who apply.
Note18 month embargo; published online: 02 Mar 2017
VersionFinal accepted manuscript