How Status, Elitism, International Capital and Marketability Drive the Practice of Student Mobility Within Transnational Higher Education


International partnerships exist in various forms across Higher Education. Transnational Higher Education (TNHE) enables students to study in one country for a qualification issued by an institution in another country. Student mobility programmes give students the chance to travel and experience university life abroad. Both TNHE and student mobility are facilitated via the formation of strategic partnerships between foreign institutions. Universities look to these partnership arrangements not only as a way of offering opportunity to their students, but also as a way of becoming more of a global presence on their own terms. This study takes the example of a TNHE Joint Venture institution in China and identifies the driving forces behind its search for suitable partners across the Higher Education spectrum. It identifies status, elitism, international capital and marketability as integral to the practice of setting up student mobility partnerships. It further suggests that these driving ideals are supported by a neoliberal ideology in which accountability and performativity are used as tools to justify international partnerships. While this may be superficially successful in the short-term, it is proposed that the development of deeper, more meaningful links would be a more rewarding long-term strategy.

Author Information
James Richard Lee, Xi'an Jiaotong-Liverpool University, China

Paper Information
Conference: ECE2019
Stream: Higher education

This paper is part of the ECE2019 Conference Proceedings (View)
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Posted by James Alexander Gordon