Transnational Academic Mobility, Internationalisation, and

Transnational Academic Mobility,
Internationalisation, and Interculturality
in Higher Education
Terri Kim
Brunel University London, U.K.
European Migration Network V National Seminar:
Immigration of International Students
19 October 2012
Eurooppasali, Malminkatu 16, Helsinki
• Trans-national mobility of international students
and academics – a growing phenomenon
• Internationalisation as marketisation
• Multi-cultural insularity in UK HE
• Academic mobility for new knowledge creation
• Some suggestion for global learning and
interculturality in HE
Immigration in Europe
in the Age of Migration
Total Population in Europe: 730 million
9.5% from overseas
Spain: 40 million (14.1%)
Germany: 80 million (13.1%)
France: 64 million (10.7%)
U.K.: 60 million (10.4%)
Italy: 60 million (7.4%)
Source: United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs, Population Division, 2010
Internationalisation of Higher Education
Worldwide through Academic Mobility
• Total number foreign students worldwide: + 3.5 million
• 1.5 million of all foreign students study in Europe
(50% global “market share”)
• 58% of these come from outside Europe, 38% from
inside (4% unknown)
• Foreign student share (of total enrolment) is about
7% in Europe.
(Source: Bernd Wächter, ACA, 2010; UKCISA, 2011)
There are two major processes occurring:
very rapid changes in political space, particularly
the creation of regional spaces, within which
transnational academic mobility occurs;
and – almost everywhere – policies are being written
and implemented by international and supranational
Previous sporadic, exceptional and limited inter-national
academic links have become systematic, dense, and
multiple trans-national, which is especially visible in
On a global scale,
We are experiencing a mass movement of
academics (especially researchers) across
borders at the same time as a new mode of
knowledge production (Gibbon, 2003; Kim,
forthcoming, 2013) and the corporatisation of
universities (Kim, 2008).
HE has become indicator of economic superpower; and universities are regarded as ‘ideal
talent-catching machines’  International
students become migrant workers.
Proportion of migrants with degrees
on the rise in the OECD area
More than half of recent migrants in Canada, Australia, Ireland
and the UK are higher education graduates. (Harnessing the Skills of
Migrants and Diasporas to Foster Development, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, France,
2012, University World News, 7 Oct. 2012).
In absolute numbers, some 1.7 million highly educated
migrants within the OECD area are from India, 1.3 million from
the UK, 1.3 million from the Philippines, 1.2 million from China
and one million from Germany. These five largest highly
educated migrant populations account for around 26% of all
tertiary educated migrants in the OECD area. (OECD, Connecting with
Emigrants: A global profile of diasporas, 2012)
Pattern of migration  brain drain, and increasingly brain
“… mobility shall be the hallmark of the
European Higher Education Area. We call
upon each country to increase mobility, to
ensure its high quality and to diversify its
types and scope. In 2020, at least 20% of
those graduating in the European Higher
Education Area should have had a study or
training period abroad.”
Communiqué of the Conference of European Ministers
Responsible for Higher Education in Leuven, 28-29 April
2009, ‘The Bologna Process 2020’ (p. 4)
… mobility-related disadvantages
should be eliminated for all workers.
This is particularly important for the
research world as it allows more mobility,
more cooperation and more competition
throughout Europe. As such, it could lay
the very foundations of a truly dynamic
European Research Area.
The League of European Research Universities , 1 March 2010
EC’s recent proposal: ERASMUS for All
• Allocate €19 billion (2014- 2020) – 70% increase compared
to the current seven-year budget.
• Main aim: (i) Modernisation of education and training systems;
(ii) providing citizens with skills and competences, and
ultimately improving their ‘employability’; (iii) increasing
student and staff mobility to and from countries outside the
EU as well.
• Global learning opportunities for individuals - 5 million
mobility opportunities, including 2.2 million HE students.
• Specific Knowledge Alliances between HEIs
and businesses, promoting innovation and
fostering creativity and entrepreneurship.
Record numbers of international students
– an annual increase of 12% (2010-11); rising by more than 75%
since 2000
Source: UNESCO; BBC 10 March 2011
International students in UK HE
• totalled 428,225 in 2011 compared with 405,810 in
2010 (Total 17% of student population; an increase
of 6%)
• made up 14% of full-time first degree students
• made up 70% of full-time taught postgraduates
• made up 48% of full-time research degree students
• Top non-EU sending countries: China, India, Nigeria,
USA, Malaysia, Hong Kong, Saudi Arabia, Pakistan,
Thailand, Canada
Source: UKCISA (
International students in UK HE
• Top EU-sending countries: Republic of Ireland, Germany, France, Greece,
Cyprus, Poland, Italy, Spain, Romania, Bulgaria
• Popular subject areas by the number of international students: Business and
Administration studies; Engineering and Technology; Social studies; Computer
science; subjects allied to Medicine; Languages; Creative arts and design; Law;
Biological sciences; Physical sciences; Education; Architecture, building &
planning; Medicine & Dentistry; Mass communication & documentation;
Historical & philosophical studies; Mathematical sciences; Combined;
Agriculture & related subjects; Veterinary subjects.
• Top 20 largest recruiters of international students (2010-11): University of
Manchester (26%); UCL (38%); Nottingham; University of Warwick;
Edinburgh; Sheffield; University of the Arts, London; Oxford (27%);
Birmingham; Coventry; LSE (66%); Greenwich; Bedfordshire; King’s College,
London; Cambridge (30%); Middlesex; London Met (26%); Imperial College
(40%); The City University; University of Westminster
• Students studying wholly overseas for a UK HE qualification: 408, 685
Source: UKCISA (
Enrolments of international (non-EU)
domiciled students, 2008/09
Enrolments of international (non-EU)
domiciled students, 2008/09
Source: NIACE; Professor Sir David Watson, Oxford, 12 March 2011
• Source: HESA; THE, 26 Jan. 2012
According to the national government’s reports:
“higher education institutions operate in
an international labour market, they will
take appropriate measures to ease the
mobility of academic staff, and the large
numbers of international staff reflect the
UK's openness towards mobility.”
(National Reports 2004-2005 of England, Northern Ireland and Wales prepared for the
Bologna Process, p. 9)
Internationalisation of the Academic
Profession in British Universities
27% of full-time academic staff appointed in 2007/08 came from outside
the UK (Kim and Locke, 2009).
41% of UK university full professors have foreign citizenship
(Teichler, 2010).
Within the UK, the highest numbers of new appointments from the EU
are: Germany 4200, Ireland 2895, Italy 2695, France 2340, Greece
1905, and Spain 1570.
From outside the EU, the highest numbers of appointees are US 2950
(2380 academic staff + 570 researchers), China 3730 (2280 academic
staff + 1450 researchers), and India 1900 (1330 + 570).
On the basis of current trends, it has been estimated by the Universities
UK that the overall proportion of international academics employed in
British universities will rise to 50% in 20 years (Source: Universities UK, Policy Brief
Talent Wars, 2007, p. 10).
The rise of a new transnational academic tribe &
the de-nationalisation of the British academic profession? (Kim,
UK Government new immigration policy
• It is aimed at reducing net annual immigration from
240,000 to 100,000 by 2015.
• The government rejected calls from 70 of Britain's
universities to stop counting foreign students as
immigrants this year (BBC News, 30 May 2012).
• It restricts who can stay in the UK upon completion of
their studies - new rules required foreign students to
earn at least £20,000 per year to be employed by Home
Office approved companies.
• Under new visa regulations, students face tougher
questions about their destination, limits on their ability to
work and harder questions on their English-language
Expansion, Control and Finance of
UK Higher Education
• Massification of HE started relatively late but has been
rapid in the UK for the last twenty years.
-> A former UK government set a target to increase participation in
Higher Education towards 50% of those domiciled in England
and aged 18 to 30 by 2010.
• As a consequence of Widening Participation in HE policy,
there is visible disparity in the home student cohort – in
terms of age, social class and ethnicity with 17% BME
The major policy driver:
Human Resource Development for the UK Economic
competitiveness - UK Economic position, Economic
performance in the global knowledge economy
“Widening access and improving participation in HE are a
crucial part of our mission.
Participation in HE will equip our citizens to operate
productively within the global knowledge economy.
It also offers social benefits, including better health, lower
crime and a more tolerant and inclusive society.”
HEFCE Strategic Plan 2003-2008
Percentage of UK-domiciled first year
students from minority ethnic groups,
Source: NIACE; Professor Sir David Watson, Oxford, 12 March 2011
Percentage of young full-time first degree entrants from
national statistics socio-economic classification classes
4, 5, 6 and 7, 2008/09
Source: NIACE; Professor Sir David Watson, Oxford, 12 March 2011
A Widening gap in Widening
participation in UK HE?
As Crozier and Reay pointed out, what
seems to have emerged in the process of
widening participation in higher education in
Britain is a polarised mass system of HE
(Reay, Ball, and David 2005).
“Widening participation will be the first
victim of funding cuts”(The Guardian, 2 March
2010) + the new triple tuition fee regime
1. Internationalisation as marketisation and
Widening Participation in HE as “social
engineering” for neoliberal knowledge economy
2. Multi-cultural insularity(?) in British HE
- The coexistence of two cultures on campus
entailed by multi-monoculturalism
• Complex relations of
1) transnational academic mobility,
2) internationalisation, and
3) interculturality in Higher Education
Underpinning meanings and forces that shape the
Triadic Relations + WP
• “Universities have become once again universitas
informed by the universals of a (new) lingua franca and
by the mobility of academics and ideas which are
clustering into a few centres of excellence within
competition on a global scale” (Kim, 2009: 402).
• As argued by Ainley (1993),’skills’ formerly understood by
many as complex social processes have become decontextualised and de-constructed into finite, isolable
‘competences’ to be located as the property of the
individual, who then carry them, luggage-like, from job to
job and also across spatial boundaries (Ainley 1993: 357).
 The same logic is applied to transnational mobile
students and migrant workers and the types of knowledge
they carry.
The concept of boundaries is partly drawn from
work on collective identities - as explored by
Barth (1969) and Jenkins (1996).
“Boundaries are permeable, persisting
despite the flow of personnel across
them, and identity is constructed in
transactions which occur at and
across the boundary.”
(Jenkins, 1996, p. 24)
Transnational Academic Mobility
Making Boundaries (i)
--- >> Transnational Academic Mobility --- >>
Transnational Academic Mobility
Making Boundaries (ii)
Academic Mobility as an ontological
condition and Knowledge as ‘capital’
• Urry (2000; 2002) rightly asserts that mobility is an
ontological condition and is expressed in
processes of people, commodities, cultures and
technologies all on the move.
• An important way to see these processes and
relations of mobility and knowledge creation is
through different types of knowledge as ‘capital’.
A Typology of knowledge creation:
evolving from Mode 1 and Mode 2 to Mode 3
Mode 1
Based on
Knowledge Capital
Mode 2
Social Capital
(interactive, multiple nodes)
Mode 3
Identity Capital
(entwined, circular
• Identity capital as a concept is not contextspecific or class-specific. Identity capital
includes cultural capital as well as many other
elements that are specific to membership in
any type of social culture. Identity capital
operates to gain a group membership
validation or preserve a self-definition (Cote &
Levine, 2008)
• Moreover, I argued that transnational
identity capital involves generic
competences to engage with otherness
(Kim, 2010).
Mode 3 as embodied, travelled Knowledge
• I would argue that particular types of tacit knowledge formed
and carried by transnational mobile academics and students
are new form of ‘embodied travelled knowledge’ which can
potentially develop into encultured knowledge’ – as defined by
Collins (1993) - and subsequently form ‘transnational identity
capital’ (Kim, forthcoming).
Embodied knowledge consists of contextual practices, and is more
of a social acquisition, as how individuals interact in and interpret
their environment creates this non-explicit type of knowledge.
Encultured knowledge is the process of achieving shared
understandings through socialisation and acculturation (Collins,
• The existing theories and collected evidence have not
engaged sufficiently with ‘The University’ as an aggregation
of mobile individuals.
• This specific context promotes new types of knowledge
transfer and transformation (Kim, 2010 - novel processes
that are occurring along with academic mobility.
• These differ from codified knowledge explicitly required in the
contemporary entrepreneurial university.
• They occur in the interface between the mobile individual and
‘The University’ – better understanding of maybe key to
success of the ‘internationalisation’ agenda.
• They need to be investigated via different instruments.
Using biographical accounts of mobile
academic intellectuals, my research has
focused on
how academic mobility led to a new mode
of knowledge creation in the process of
becoming strangers and being positioned
as academic migrants.
Transnational Academic Mobility and new
Knowledge Creation for Interculturality in HE
In the contemporary neoliberal market period (1990-2011)
Talents + M1, M2, M3
• Global Talent Recruitment, Rise and Expansion of
Transnational Research Policy and Research Industry
• Further diversification of Mode 2 knowledge production
• Rise of Mode 3 knowledge, significant but in danger of
Martha Nussbaum on
Cosmopolitan Citizenship
‘Each of us dwells… in two communities the local community of our birth and in the
community of human argument and
aspiration… in which we look neither to this
corner nor to that, but measure the
boundaries of our nation by the sun’.
Nussbaum (1994) Patriotism and Cosmopolitanism, Boston
Review 19 (Oct/Nov).
Rethinking Interculturality
in Higher Education
Functionary, instrumental
• Intercultural competence
skills formation
• Embodied, encultured
-> Finite, isolable competences
-> Reflexive continuum
• Training; expected to be acquired
through codified knowledge-based
courses, degree-programmes,
• A journey to develop,
acquire transnational
identity capital (Kim, 2010)
• Existential migration (Greg
Madison, 2006); Narrative
imagination (Nussbaum,
For further discussion and
future contact:
[email protected]
[email protected]

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