The Complexity of Transnational Distance Students: A Review of the Literature

William H. Stewart


Transnational education is a rapidly evolving and constantly changing field. The Internet has enabled virtually global access to distance education opportunities, however transnational distance students in particular have often been miscategorized, oversimplified, or overlooked in prior research. This literature review synthesizes research and publications over a ten-year period focusing on the emerging phenomenon of transnational distance students. Contrary to the allure of flexible, any time, any place learning often ascribed to distance education, diverse and complex situations are highlighted that paint a more nuanced picture of student circumstances and motivations, counterintuitive and underrepresented conditions that may influence students in their decisions to enrol in transnational distance education programs.


transnational distance students; transnational education; borderless higher education; globalisation; literature review

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