GEOGRAPHICAL RESEARCH ›› 2019, Vol. 38 ›› Issue (8): 1862-1876.doi: 10.11821/dlyj020181156

• The Flow in Geography • Previous Articles     Next Articles

Spatiotemporal evolution of global talent mobility network based on the data of international student mobility

HOU Chunguang1,2,3,DU Debin1,2,3,LIU Chengliang1,2,ZHAI Chenyang1,2,3   

  1. 1. Institute for Global Innovation and Development, East China Normal University, Shanghai 200062, China
    2. School of Urban and Regional Science, East China Normal University, Shanghai 200062, China
    3. National Institutes of Educational Policy Research, East China Normal University, Shanghai 200062, China
  • Received:2018-10-23 Revised:2019-06-24 Online:2019-08-20 Published:2019-08-20

Abstract:

High-quality talents are reshaping the world economic landscape by transcending geographic flows and driving global innovative activities. Based on the data of international student mobility, this paper draws on complex network theory to construct a multidimensional weighted directed network heterogeneity model. This model uses the GIS spatial analysis method to study spatiotemporal evolution of global talent mobility network complexity from 2001 to 2015. The results are as follows. First, the scale of the global talent mobility network is expanding rapidly, and the relationship is becoming closer and closer. In the network, both the number of talents and the choices of overseas routines are mounting. The network development has obvious small-world characteristics. However, the two levels of network differentiation are significant, and the difference is decreasing year by year. Second, the rank-size distributions of network nodes weighted degree of accession and weighted degree of output conform to the law of power distribution, showing a typical "pyramid structure" characteristics, reflecting that the global talent mobility network is controlled by a small number of pivotal node countries. The spatial patterns of the global talent mobility network are basically "from east to west, and from south to north", but the trend of mobile regionalization is gradually emerging, and the role of emerging countries attracting talents has gradually increased. Thirdly, the core-periphery structure of the global talent mobility network is remarkable. The countries in the core, strong semi-periphery and semi-periphery alternate with countries from other tiers. There is a strong mobility of relations between the core countries. The marginal countries are not connected with each other, or have weak links with each other. The talent of the marginal countries mainly flows to the core countries and semi-marginal countries. Finally, the global talent mobility network community has been significantly differentiated. The network has evolved into six associations, including American associations, EU associations, Chinese associations, South American and South African associations, Malaysian associations, and CIS associations. The scale of associations varies widely. Like the overall network, each community has a similar "pyramid structure" feature.

Key words: global talent, international students, complex network, spatial pattern