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  Antecedents to international student in 󿬂 ows to UK higher education:A comparative analysis ☆ Ping Zheng ⁎ Westminster Business School, University of Westminster, 35 Marylebone Road, London NW1 5LS, UK  a b s t r a c ta r t i c l e i n f o  Article history: Received 1 November 2011Received in revised form 1 November 2011Accepted 1 November 2012Available online 22 November 2012 Keywords: AntecedentsInternational studentsUK higher educationMarketing strategyComparative analysis This study explores the antecedents of international student  󿬂 ows into UK higher education and the varia-tions in the antecedents between home countries of srcin. The results suggest that home country economicwealth and demographics, historic/linguistic link and UK government preferential policies are the importantantecedents for international students from worldwide  󿬂 ows into the UK. However, a comparative analysisshows that a wide variety of economic, social and political factors are all important to the UK internationalstudents srcinally from developing economies, while home country economic wealth and population, andbilateral trade are more important than other factors in determining the students from developed countriesstudying in the UK. The UK government should formulate effective and  󿬂 exible policies and UK HEIs shoulddevelop speci 󿬁 c marketing strategies to attract a growing number of international students in general andfrom key target countries and regions in particular.© 2012 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. 1. Introduction Globalization has manifested itself not only through internationaltrade and foreign direct investment (FDI) but strongly through the in-creasing trend of international student mobility in higher education(HE) (Bennell & Pearce, 2003; OECD, 2004; Zammuto, 2008). The com-petitioninvyingtoattractinternationalstudentshasbecome 󿬁 ercebe-tween the host (receiving) countries (Binsardi & Ekwulugo, 2003;British Council, 2011; Hemsley-Brown & Goonawardana, 2007).Internationalized higher education can promote not only a country'seconomy but also its social and cultural diversity, political democracy,and international trade and cooperation (Marginson, 2010). However,theliteraturegivesscantattentiontotheglobalizationofhighereduca-tion (Doh, 2010; Marginson, 2010).As a traditional higher education destination for international stu-dents, the UK attracts students from around the world for decades(Lee & Tan, 1984). UK HE has become one of the UK's major exportingindustries (Bennell & Pearce, 2003; Naidoo, 2007). The UK maintainsitspositionasthesecondlargesthostcountryforinternationalstudentsbehind only the US (IIE, 2010; OECD, 2011). However, the UK govern-ment and higher education institutions (HEIs) are now facing seriouschallengesintheirattempttomaintainorincreaseinternationalstudentnumbers. UK HEIs have come increasingly to rely on internationalstudents from a  󿬁 nancial point of view due to the reduction in fundingfordomesticstudents,combinedwiththeeffectsofthecurrent 󿬁 nancialcrisis and recession (Ryan, 2011).Thesituationismadeworsebytheintensi 󿬁 cationofcompetitionfromotherhostcountriessuchastheUSA,Canada,Australia,andNewZealand,whichsharetheadvantageofanEnglish-speakingenvironment(Green&Boone, 2005; Hemsley-Brown & Goonawardana, 2007). The UK marketshare of international students fell from 16% in 1998 to 13% in 2003 andfurther down to 10% in 2009 (Green & Boone, 2005; OECD, 2011). Inorder to attract more international students and remain competitive inthe global HE market, it is essential for the UK government to formulateeffective policies and UK HEIs to develop ef  󿬁 cient marketing strategies.For doing so, they need a good knowledge and understanding of the na-ture of UK international student mobility. However, this issue has notbeen addressed adequately by literature to date, and little research hasbeen conducted to investigate the impact of home (sending) countrycharacteristicsonandthevariationsintheantecedentsofUKinternation-al student in 󿬂 ows from a home country perspective.This study addresses these literature gaps by tackling the followingquestions: What factors attract international students coming to theUK for their HE? Do the antecedents differ across home countries of ori-ginduetotheirdifferenceineconomic development(measured byGDPpercapita)?Ifso,whatshouldtheUKgovernmentandHEIsdotoattractmoreinternationalstudentsfromdifferentcountries?Thestudycontrib-utestotheliteratureintwoways.First,usingalargepaneldatasetandanexpandedestimate model,considering push and pullfactors, combiningeconomic,socialandpoliticalelements,thestudyprovidesamorerobustempirical analysis and more generalized results than those that can begenerated from a time series or a cross-sectional dataset (Baltagi, 2005;Hsiao, 2003). Second, exploring the variations between two home  Journal of Business Research 67 (2014) 136 – 143 ☆  The author thanks the journal editors Arch Woodside and Sergio Biggemann, theanonymous reviewers, and the Academy of Management Annual Meeting 2011 (SanAntonio) for their comments on earlier drafts of this article. The author is also thankfulto Mark Patton and Vincent Rich for their help in proof reading. ⁎  Tel.: +44 20 350 66598. E-mail address:  zhengp@wmin.ac.uk.0148-2963/$  –  see front matter © 2012 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jbusres.2012.11.003 Contents lists available at ScienceDirect  Journal of Business Research  country groups classi 󿬁 ed by economic development level, the studyleads to a better knowledge and understanding of the antecedents of UKinternationalstudentin 󿬂 owssrcinatingfromworldwideingeneral,and from developed and developing economies in particular. More im-portantly, the study sheds light on the literature with a comparativeanalysis between the two home country groups, identifying the factorsthat are most signi 󿬁 cant in each case.The rest of the paper is organized as follows. Section 2 reviews theliterature and models developed in previous studies. Section 3 dis-cusses the research methodology. Section 4 presents the results anddiscussions, and the  󿬁 nal section summarizes the key  󿬁 ndings, ex-plores the policy and managerial implications, and discusses the re-search limitations and future studies. 2. Literature and models A country can bene 󿬁 t from exporting its HE service to internationalstudents through  󿬁 nancial effects, employment and spillover effects,and economic growth effects (Adnett, 2010; Bashir, 2007; Chellaraj,Maskus, & Mattoo, 2008; Gribble, 2008). Exporting HE service to inter-nationalstudentscanimprovethehostcountry'stradepositionandthecurrentaccountofitsbalanceofpaymentswhichisoneofthemostim-portant policy issues for every government (Bashir, 2007). The incomegenerated from international students can ease  󿬁 nancial pressures onthe host country government and HEIs arising from the government'sHE budget cuts and other public funding shortages. International stu-dents can also create employment opportunities for the host countryin HE industry directly, and in other sectors such as the property, retailand tourism industries, indirectly through spillover effects.From the long-term perspective, the immigration of internationalgraduates can promote host country human capital stock, which haspositive impact on the country's innovation, productivity and eco-nomic growth (Adnett, 2010; Chellaraj et al., 2008; Gribble, 2008).As a long-term impact, successful international graduates  —  oneday's world business elites, may invest in, import from and exportto the countries in which they have studied for their university de-grees, boosting the country's FDI and economy (Wylie, 2011).From a universityperspective, a HEI canbene 󿬁 t from recruitingandeducatinginternationalstudentsfromallovertheworldwhocanenrichtheculturalandintellectualdiversityoftheacademiccommunity(Doh,2010;Marginson,2010;Ryan,2011;SCONUL,2007;Turner,2008).Pay-inghightuitionfees,internationalstudentscanalsocontributetoabulkofincome,whichisevenmoreessentialforHEIstosurvivefromthecur-rent recession. A HEI can make itself   “ more global ”  by increasing thenumberofforeignstudents,whichhasbecameacoreinternationalstrat-egy for some UK elite universities (Turner, 2008). Success in attractinglarge numbers of international students particularly at postgraduatelevel, can also demonstrate a university's world-class reputation, whichwill in turn attract even more international students in the future(Hemsley-Brown & Goonawardana, 2007; SCONUL, 2007).Within the existing literature, three main models have been de-veloped to analyze the antecedents of international student mobility:the gravity model (see Bessey, 2007; Gonzalez, Mesanza, & Mariel,2011; Karemera, Oguledo, & Davis, 2000; Sa, Florax, & Rietveld,2004); the push – pull model (see Cantwell, Luca, & Lee, 2009; Li &Bray, 2007; Mazzarol & Soutar, 2002; McMahon, 1992) and thethree-category model (see Naidoo, 2007).  2.1. A gravity model Tinbergen(1962) 󿬁 rstintroducesagravitymodeltopredictandde-scribe international  󿬂 ows of trade including goods and services be-tween two countries i and j as:Fij  ¼  CE i E  j D ij whereFisthetrade 󿬂 ow,EistheeconomicsizeofeachcountryandDisthe distance between the two countries. The gravity model is laterwidely used to explain international capital (FDI)  󿬂 ows (see Buckleyet al., 2007; Dunning, 1980; Grosse & Trevino, 1996; Sethi, Guisinger,Phelan, & Berg, 2003; Zheng, 2009; Zwinkels & Beugelsdijk, 2010),labor migration (see Karemera et al., 2000), and international studentmobility (see Gonzalez et al., 2011; Sa et al., 2004). Zwinkels and Beugelsdijk(2010, p102) note “ Gravity models postulatethatthemag-nitude of merchandise trade and FDI 󿬂 ows between countries is condi-tional on several characteristics of these countries, notably theireconomicsizeandlevelofeconomicdevelopment,andonfactorsstim-ulating or discouraging the movement of merchandise or investmentbetween countries ”  including geographic and cultural distance, and in-stitutional factors. They claim that the popularity of a gravity modelused in international business literature owes to two reasons: themodel has  “ 󿬁 rm theoretical foundations ”  and  “ produced some of theclearest empirical results in international economics and business ” (Zwinkels & Beugelsdijk, 2010, p. 102). Karemera et al. (2000, p. 1746) argue that  “ a gravity model is a reduced form equation derivedfrom a system of demand and supply relationships. ”  They develop amodel of migration between two countries based on potential supplyand demand factors. The supply factors include home country income,population and other push considerations, while demand factors in-clude host country income and population and the pull factors arisingfrom them. They modify Tinbergen's gravity equation as follows:Fij  ¼  cS a1i  D a2 j R  a3ij : In this equation, S represents supply factors, D refers to demandfactors and R regards to natural and arti 󿬁 cial factors in 󿬂 uencing mi-gration between the two countries, such as distance, travel costsand host country visa regulations. All of these factors re 󿬂 ect the spe-ci 󿬁 c political, economic and demographic characteristics of the homeand host countries (Karemera et al., 2000).Usingthemodi 󿬁 edgravitymodel,Karemeraetal.(2000)investigatethe antecedents of international migration to North America between1976 and 1986. They  󿬁 nd that the population of the home country isthe most signi 󿬁 cant determinant of migration  󿬂 ows. The income andpoliticalfactorsalsohavesigni 󿬁 cantin 󿬂 uenceonthesizeandcomposi-tionofmigration 󿬂 ows.Saetal.(2004)employasimilarapproachtoex-amine the antecedents of regional demand for HE in the Netherlands.They conclude that distance and accommodation costs deter the geo-graphicmobilityofstudents.They 󿬁 ndthatthedistanceeffectishetero-geneous, even between the regions of a relatively small country: moreelastic in the south-west, and the more remote northern areas of theNetherlands, as compared with the central and eastern areas of thecountry. Gonzalez et al. (2011) study student mobility within theEuropeanRegionActionSchemefortheMobilityofUniversityStudents(ERASMUS) Program using the gravity model, they argue that the costof living, distance, population and language are the important factorsin explaining Erasmus student mobility.  2.2. A push –  pull model Basedonthegravitymodel,thepush – pullmodelclassi 󿬁 esallfactorsinto  “ push ”  and  “ pull ”  categories in explaining the antecedents of inter-national student mobility. The  “ push factors ”  refer to the home countrycharacteristics of international students which motivate and push themto go abroad for their HE. The push factors include home country eco-nomic wealth, population and HE capacity (especially in the developingcountries).The “ pullfactors ” refertothespeci 󿬁 chostcountrycharacter-isticsattractingforeignstudentin 󿬂 ows.Thesecharacteristicsincludeex-changerate,geographicalandculturalproximity,commonlanguageandthepoliciesofthehostcounty'sgovernmentwithregardtointernational 137 P. Zheng / Journal of Business Research 67 (2014) 136  – 143  education including migration, visa regulations and the availability of scholarships and education aid. As a host country, the UK has severalmajor pull factors including its common (English) language, geographicand cultural proximity to its European neighbors, historic (colonial)links with the developing world and the UK government's proactive en-gagement inthe internationaleducationmarket inrecent years, notablythroughthePrimeMinister'sInitiative(PMI)projectandtheactivitiesof theBritishCouncil(Hemsley-Brown&Goonawardana,2007;Mazzarol&Soutar, 1999; Mazzarol & Soutar, 2002).Usingthepush – pullmodel,McMahon(1992)examinesthepushandpull factors determining the recruitment of international students from18 developing countries to study in US HEIs during the 1960s and early1970s. The study  󿬁 nds that the push factors such as home country's in-volvement in the global economy and the emphasis on education in thecountry's national culture have positive effects, while the increasingstrength of the home country's economy has a negative in 󿬂 uence onthe decision of students to study in the US. With respect to the pull fac-tors, the study  󿬁 nds that the relative economic size and extent of tradelinks between the host and home countries are positive, while the 󿬁 nancial support from the host institutions is negatively associated withthe recruitment of international students. Using a similar approach,MazzarolandSoutar(2002)investigatethefactorsin 󿬂 uencingthechoiceof international students' study destinations by conducting student sur-veys in Indonesia, Taiwan, China, and India. They  󿬁 nd that four mainpushfactorsmotivatethestudentsstudyingabroad:thestudents'percep-tion that an overseas course is better than a domestic one; the students'ability to gain entry to local programs; a desire to gain a better under-standingofWesternculture;andanintentiontomigrateaftergraduation.The research also identi 󿬁 es the pull factors attracting the students into aparticular host country, such as a better knowledge or awareness aboutthehostcountry,sociallinks,geographicproximity,thecosts ofstudyingand living, and aspects of the environment in the host country.  2.3. The Three-category model The three-category model differentiates the antecedents of de-mand for international education into social, economic and politicalcategories. Naidoo (2007) notes that social factors include the levelof af  󿬁 nity between the host and home countries; the pedagogicaland academic reputation of educational institutions in the host coun-try; geographic/cultural proximity between the host and home coun-tries and potential migration opportunities in the host country.Economic factors refer to exchange rates, tuition fees and the per-ceived cost of living in the host country. Political factors include thepromotion of international education through the host country's for-eign policy, and the role of education in development aid programs.Using a time series dataset, Naidoo (2007) explores internationalstudent mobility in UK HEIs over 1985 – 2003 by considering  󿬁 vesocio-economic factors and  󿬁 nds that the most signi 󿬁 cant antecedentsare access to domestic education opportunities in the home countries;the level of integration of the home countries within the global econo-my; and the level of tuition fees in the host country. However, arguedby Baltagi (2005) and Hsiao (2003), the results generated from a time series or a cross-section dataset may run the risk of bias arising from alack of degree of freedom and ef  󿬁 ciency of the estimators. 3. Method  3.1. Model This study employs a large panel dataset, pooling time series andcross-sectiondata,todetecttheantecedentsofUKinternationalstudentin 󿬂 ows and the variations of the antecedents between developing anddeveloped home country groups. Based on the gravity model, thestudyusesacombinationoftheapproacheselaboratedabove,consider-ing both push and pull factors, and economic, social and politicalvariables. The expanded estimate model (1a) and its log-linear version(1b) are structured as follows:Internationalstudentenrolment  ¼  f  ð homecountryeconomicwealth ; tradelink ; relativeexchangerate ; homecountrypopulation ; geographicdistance ; historic = linguisticlink ; theUKgovernmentpolicy Þ ð 1a Þ LISE  ¼  α þ β 1 LGDP þ β 2 LGGDP þ β 3 LGDPP þ β 4 LEX þ β 5 LIM þ β 6 LREXR  þ β 7 POP þ β 8 LGD þ β 9 LD þ β 10 TD þ ε it ð 1b Þ  3.2. Dependent variable The dependent variable is international student enrolment (ISE)in UK HEIs from 42 home countries in each academic year from1994/95 to 2007/08. The 42 countries (see Appendix 1) selected arethe major sources of the UK international students from worldwide,including both developed and developing economies, accounting for84% of the total number of 3.6 million UK international studentsover the 14 years. The top 20 home countries (see Appendix 2) ac-counting for 70% of UK international students are all covered for esti-mation except Taiwan owing to data availability problems.  3.3. Independent variables The independent variables include economic factors: home coun-try economic wealth (using three proxies: GDP, GDP growth  —  GGDPand GDP per capita  —  GDPP), trade link (using two proxies; export  — EX and import  —  IM), and relative exchange rate (REXR); social fac-tors: home country population (POP), geographic distance (GD) andhistoric/linguistic link (LD); and political factor: the UK governmentpolicy towards international students (TD)  —  a time dummy variableto re 󿬂 ect the PMI project effects. Among these independent variables,home country economic wealth and population will be the pushforces; while relative exchange rate, trade link, historic/linguisticlink, geographic distance and the UK policy will be the pull forces.Studentsoriginallyfromwealthyeconomiesaremorelikelytobeableto go abroad for their HE as they have more disposable income and canbetter support themselves 󿬁 nancially than those from poorer economies(Karemera et al., 2000; Naidoo, 2007). They do not necessarily rely onscholarships and are more mobile for their HE abroad (Bessey, 2007).Homecountryeconomicwealth,therefore,isexpectedtobepositivelyas-sociatedwiththenumberofUKinternationalstudents.Exchangerateisamajor consideration in determining the affordability of study in a givencountry (Naidoo, 2007). A relatively weak currency in host country mayattractinternationalstudent in 󿬂 ows asthecosts of studyinginthe coun-try will become cheaper. The same amount of home currency could buymore goods and services in the host country or the same costs of tuitionfeesandlivingwillconsumelesshomecurrency.Viceversa,astrongcur-rency in the host country may deter international student in 󿬂 ows as thestrongcurrencywillmakestudyinginthecountrymoreexpensive.Bilat-eraltradebetweenhostandhomecountriesindicatesahighlevelofeco-nomic integration between the countries (Zheng, 2009). A higherbilateral trade level implies a stronger economic tie and dependence oneach other and more knowledge and awareness of the trade partnercountry (McMahon, 1992). Thus, a higher level of economic link andmorebilateraltradebetweenthetwocountriesshouldleadmoreinterna-tional student  󿬂 ows from the home country into UK HEIs.A home country with a large population, especially one with a rela-tivelylargeyounggeneration(age15 – 64),willgenerallyhavemorede-mandforHEthanacountrywithsmalloragingpopulation(Gonzalezetal.,2011;Karemeraetal.,2000).Ahigherproportionofyoungpeoplein 138  P. Zheng / Journal of Business Research 67 (2014) 136  – 143  acountry'spopulationmayleadtomoreneedsanddemandsforstudy-ingabroad.Countrieslocatedincloseproximitytooneanotherarelike-ly to have similarities in culture and custom and a greater mutualknowledge and understanding of each others' history, culture and lan-guage (Gonzalez et al., 2011; Malhotra, Sivakumar, & Zhu, 2011;Mazzarol & Soutar, 2002; Naidoo, 2007). For example, European coun-tries have similar political and economic regimes, similar cultures andcustoms while Asian countries in the Far East have similar norms andvalues, which differ signi 󿬁 cantly from those of Europe.Country location has not only social but economic effects on inter-nationalstudentmobility.Internationalstudentsstudyingin a foreigncountry face greater dif  󿬁 culties and higher costs than studying athomedueto thenecessary adaptationtoa differentlanguage, culture,system and environment (Bessey, 2007; Mazzarol & Soutar, 2002).Far distance means that international students need to pay more fortheir travel and the culture in the host country may be far differentfrom theirs and more dif  󿬁 cult for them to adapt in the new environ-ment (Gonzalez et al., 2011; Malhotra et al., 2011; Mazzarol & Soutar,2002; Sa et al., 2004). The students may, therefore, have a strong in-centive to choose a country which is near-by for less cost and morereliability (Cantwell et al., 2009).Historical (colonial) link and linguistic ties between the host andhome countries may make the study in the host country easier andcheaper due to the similar education system and a common language(Bennell & Pearce, 2003; Gonzalez et al., 2011; Lee & Tan, 1984).Studying in the UK will be easier for the students from most Com-monwealth Countries than others because they generally have ahigh level of pro 󿬁 ciency in the English language, and are already fa-miliar with UK HE system and regulations which are similar tothose which apply in their home countries. The studying will bealso cheaper for them because there is no additional payment fortheirEnglishlearningandtraining.Thus,theUKcommonEnglishlan-guage and its historic tie with the Commonwealth Countries will at-tract more students from its colonial and other English speakingcountries.The attitude and policy of a host country's government towardsinternational students is an in 󿬂 uential factor (Bourke, 2000; Naidoo,2007). As noted earlier, the UK government PMI project (a  󿬁 ve yearprogram launched in June 1999 and re-launched in April 2006 for afurther 5 years  —  the second phase of the project following the suc-cessofthe 󿬁 rstphase)aimstopromoteUKHEbyincreasingthenum-ber of international (primarily non-EU) students (British Council,2010). The project provides a series of promotionalpolicies, includinginvestment in a UK education marketing campaign managed by theBritish Council; the streamlining of visa arrangements; an increasein the number of scholarships; and the International GraduateScheme (IGS), which has allowed non-EU students to work in theUK for up to 1 year after completing their study.Thus,the PMI projectis expectedto have a positiveeffect on inter-national student recruitment. Table 1 presents the speci 󿬁 cations of the dependent and independent variables and their data sources. 4. Results and discussions Eq. (1b) is estimated by the feasible generalized least squares (GLS)statistical model which can handle both heteroscedasticity and correla-tions for obtaining unbiased, consistent, asymptotically normal, and ef  󿬁 -cient estimators. The empirical results are reported in Table 2. 4.1. Whole sample Column 1 presents the results for the whole sample  —  the 42countries currently studied. All explanatory variables are statisticallysigni 󿬁 cant except the variable of GDP (LGDP), import (LIM) and geo-graphic distance (LGD). Interestingly, GDP growth (LGGDP) and GDPper capita (LGDPP) are signi 󿬁 cant at the same 1% high level but withopposite signs. GDP growth has a positive effect on international stu-dent in 󿬂 ows to the UK, the higher the home country GDP growthpushes more international student  󿬂 ows into the UK for their HE.However, unexpected, GDP per capita is negatively associated withinternational student  󿬂 ows, the lower the home country GDP percapita, the more the international student 󿬂 ows from the home coun-tries to the UK. A potential reason behind the unexpected result is ahigh involvement in international student mobility from developingcountries. The number of international students has been rapidly in-creasing in the last two decades srcinally from developing countriesin Asia, Africaand SouthAmerica, in which the levelof GDP per capitais still very low. For example, among the top 20 home countries of theUK international students (see Appendix 2), the GDP per capita inChina, India, Pakistan and Nigeria, are at least  󿬁 ve times lower thanthat of the OECD countries (World Bank, 2010). This result may alsoindicate that  “ some minimum level of economic strength …  was aprerequisite for greater participation in overseas study ”  (McMahon,1992,pp.473)or “ greatereducationalopportunitycounteractstheef-fect of improved GDP per capita ”  (Mazzarol & Soutar, 2002, pp. 83).The relative exchange rate variable (LREXR) is positively signi 󿬁 cantwith the right sign, indicating that a weaker UK sterling pound attractsmoreinternationalstudentin 󿬂 ows.Interestingly,theresultsforthetwotrade link variables export (LEX) and import (LIM) are different fromone another. The export variable (LEX) is positively signi 󿬁 cant at the1%level,whiletheimportvariable(LIM)isinsigni 󿬁 cantwithanegativesign.TheseresultsimplythatexportfromtheUKtothehomecountriesis important as a pull factor attracting international students from thehome countries, but that the import from the home countries to theUK has no in 󿬂 uence on the UK international student in 󿬂 ows.The home country young population variable (LPOP) is positivelysigni 󿬁 cant with the largest coef  󿬁 cient at 3.58, a 1% increase inyoung population leads to a 3.58% increasein the number of UKinter-national students. The home country's larger young population in-creases in demand for HE and pushes more international student 󿬂 ows into the UK for their HE. The result supports the  󿬁 nding of Agarwal and Winkler (1985) that the increased number of interna-tional students in the US is largely due to the increased eligible pop-ulation, especially in the developing countries.The geographic distance variable (LGD) is not statistically signi 󿬁 cant.The 󿬁 ndingsuggeststhatdistance betweenthe hostandhome countriesis generally not an important determinant of international student 󿬂 owsinto the UK. Globalization and economic integration between countriesmayreducethein 󿬂 uenceofgeographicdistanceoninternationalstudent 󿬂 ows. Historic (colonial) and language tie variable (LD) is positively sig-ni 󿬁 cant as expected. This  󿬁 nding indicates that the UK attracts more in-ternational students particularly from the Commonwealth Countrieswithwhichithascolonialties,andfromotherEnglishspeakingcountries.TheUKgovernment'spolicyvariable(TD)ispositivelysigni 󿬁 cant.There-sultimpliesthatthePMIprojecthashadasigni 󿬁 cantpulleffectandhostcountrynationalpromotionintargetcountriesin 󿬂 uencescountryprefer-ences of international students (Bourke, 2000). 4.2. Two home country groups Due to home country differences in economic development level,the demand and customer behavior and orientation of internationalstudents are different between developed and developing countries(Cantwell et al., 2009; Vrontis, Thrassou, & Melanthiou, 2007). Theantecedents of UK international student in 󿬂 ows may, therefore, varybetween the developed and developing countries of srcin. Thewhole sample is further divided into two groups using their OECDmembership status (see Appendix 1 for the country category) for in-vestigationoftheheterogeneity.Column2presentstheresultsfortheOECD group and Column 3 for the non-OECD group, respectively.All three economic wealth variables are positively signi 󿬁 cant forthe OECD group. A high level of GDP, GDP growth and GDP per capita 139 P. Zheng / Journal of Business Research 67 (2014) 136  – 143
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