The purpose of this study is to explore the differences in international student mobility in two contrasting countries: UK and China at national, institutional and individual levels. They are countries in transition in a greater global context. The objective is to identify what these countries can learn from eachother about the issues and policies surrounding the management of educational mobility. An inductive approach was employed to understand real-life experience via case studies. Participant observation and semi-structured interview methods with a variety of stakeholders were used to collect data which were then subjected to a thematic analysis to identify in which areas countries had developed good practice. Over-arching themes were developed through comparing national findings. These reveal that national policy and family support are most influential in China, while British universities largely drive student mobility at an institutional level. Concluding that no one country has a comprehensive and complete approach, this study proposes the areas in which both could develop and details good practice. The value therefore emerges from the comparison and contrast and the practical focus of the research.