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Transnational educational spaces: The transformation of HE in Hong Kong and the new (im)mobilities of Chinese students

Dr Johanna Waters, Department of Geography, University of Liverpool

Wednesday 02 June 2010, 1300-1400
LEC Training Room 1

Society and Environment Research Theme Seminar

The last 10 years have seen the deepening and expansion of the process of internationalisation in relation to higher education (HE). There are many different aspects to this, including the proliferation of language schools catering to international students, "satellite" university campuses, distance- or e-learning, international MBA programmes, and the development of national education "brands". Governments and HE institutions are becoming increasingly entrepreneurial when it comes to promoting their educational "products" overseas. The international mobility of tertiary-level students is one of the more conspicuous elements of internationalisation in relation to HE. In this seminar, I draw upon the preliminary findings of a research project (funded by the ESRC and RGC in Hong Kong and conducted jointly with Dr Maggi Leung at the University of Hong Kong) examining another facet of internationalisation - the increasing overseas presence of UK higher education institutions (HEIs) in East Asia. More specifically, I consider here the experiences of students in Hong Kong undertaking 'British' degree programmes (in situ). I discuss their decision-making around attaining a British degree, their experiences of their programme to date, and their plans on completion of their degree. Conceptually, the project considers the relationship between international higher education and (im)mobility. Transnational educational programmes of the kind reported here ostensibly undermine the assumed relationship between overseas education and international travel. In this study, we examine the extent to which physical mobility is integral to the experience of international education.

Biography: Johanna is a lecturer in human geography at the University of Liverpool whose research specializes in the the internationalisation of education and on issues of education and mobility, as well as transnational migration and the experience of immigrants in different countries. In the past she has undertaken extensive research for the B.C. Ministry of Multiculturalism and Immigration in Canada. She is currently undertaking research funded by the British Academy and ESRC-RGC grants on the experiences of students in Hong-Kong taking "British" degree programs and the implications of this, which will be the subject of this seminar.