IOE - Faculty of Education and Society


Tracer study of African alumni of international universities: career choices, return and social contributions

09 June 2016, 12:30 pm–2:00 pm

Tracer study

Event Information

Open to



Room 709a, UCL Institute of Education, 20 Bedford Way, London WC1H 0AL

Please join us for a lunchtime seminar hosted by the Centre for Global Higher Education (CGHE), UCL Institute of Education.

Programme 1: Globalisation, UK higher education and the public contributions of HEIs


Robin Marsh 


Tristan McCowan, UCL Institute of Education 

This seminar will present the background, methods and findings of the two-year multi-university study: 'Career and Life Trajectories of African Alumni of International Universities', led by the University of California, Berkeley.  

The study is in part motivated by the intention to derive findings that will improve the future programming of the ongoing MasterCard Foundation Scholars Programme that provides comprehensive scholarships to high-achieving Sub-Saharan African youth from economically disadvantaged backgrounds to attend selected North American and African universities.

Using mixed survey and narrative methods, the study contributes to a better understanding of the context, conditions, and individual variables that shape the career and life decisions of African alumni, and how these decisions impact their contributions to the social and economic well being of their region/country of origin over time and space.  

Findings from the survey analysis and narrative interviews shed new light on this topic of 'brain drain' versus 'brain circulation', with important implications for international scholarship design and capacity-building for African development more generally.  

The research question on 'value of an international education' addresses the comparative values of higher education experiences in North American versus African institutions in the context of personal growth and societal change.  

This seminar is free and open to the public. No advance booking required.

About the presenter

Robin Marsh is a socio-economist with over 25 years of experience in international agriculture and rural development.  She received her PhD from the Food Research Institute, Stanford University. Robin joined UC Berkeley in 2000 as Director of the Center for Sustainable Resource Development and the Beahrs Environmental Leadership Program. Robin is a founding leader of the The MasterCard Foundation Scholars Program (MCFSP) at UC Berkeley, and lead researcher on the multi-university study, 'Career and Life Trajectories of African Alumni of International Universities'.

Please note that the  Chatham House Rule applies to some CGHE seminars - email Anna Phillips: anna.phillips@ucl.ac.uk for more information.

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