6 episodes

The Centre for Global Higher Education (CGHE) is an international research centre focused on higher education and its future development, based at Oxford University. This series collects the weekly seminars that CGHE hosts with its researchers and guest speakers.

Centre for Global Higher Education Oxford University

    • Education

The Centre for Global Higher Education (CGHE) is an international research centre focused on higher education and its future development, based at Oxford University. This series collects the weekly seminars that CGHE hosts with its researchers and guest speakers.

    CGHE series on international and global higher education – seminar 2: The global and the post-colonial PART TWO

    CGHE series on international and global higher education – seminar 2: The global and the post-colonial PART TWO

    David Mills and Simon Marginson present on the theme of ‘The global and the post-colonial’ What is ‘global’ higher education?
    Simon Marginson

    What is the global in higher education and how does it relate to the national domain where institutions and persons are primarily funded and ordered? To grasp this we need to set aside some common assumptions. First, the global and the international are not identities, or ‘dimensions’ integrated into the ‘purpose, functions or delivery’ of education in one university or nation. They can only exist as relationships. Second, global relations are understood in terms of connectedness – people, institutions and ideas crossing borders – but while connections are certainly part of the picture, to define the global in this manner leaves us stuck at the rim of the ‘national container’. We need a way of imagining the global in higher education that brings it into open view, enhances its potential value and interrogates relations of power within it (relationships are not always symmetrical), even while national and local phenomena can also freely appear. The paper will argue that the global is most usefully understood in terms of relational systems at the world and world-regional level, and globalisation as the process of integration on this scale. Just as national higher education is a process of nation-state building, globalisation in higher education and science is a process of world-building. Global systems are partial and uneven, but higher education – especially its knowledge-intensive components – is among the most global of all human activities and constitutes a form of global civil society.

    From anti-colonial to post-global and back again: Geopolitical imaginaries and the study of ‘global’ higher education
    David Mills

    For anticolonial nationalists like Kwame Nkrumah and Nnamdi Azikiwe, the post-war British ‘Asquith’ university colleges represented a second colonialization of the African continent. Instead, Nkrumah argued, such universities, once planted, should ‘take root amidst African traditions and cultures’. These early postcolonial critiques shaped the evolution and Africanisation of universities like Makerere and Dar-es-Salaam. Contemporary visions for ‘post-developmental’ higher education, ‘pluriversities’, or knowledge decolonisation also seek to redefine the contours of higher education systems. In order to understand the influence of these contested geopolitical imaginaries on the field of ‘global’ higher education studies, this paper explores the relationship between policy scholarship, epistemic politics and disciplinary loyalties.

    • 35 min
    CGHE series on international and global higher education – seminar 2: The global and the post-colonial PART ONE

    CGHE series on international and global higher education – seminar 2: The global and the post-colonial PART ONE

    David Mills and Simon Marginson present on the theme of ‘The global and the post-colonial’ What is ‘global’ higher education?
    Simon Marginson

    What is the global in higher education and how does it relate to the national domain where institutions and persons are primarily funded and ordered? To grasp this we need to set aside some common assumptions. First, the global and the international are not identities, or ‘dimensions’ integrated into the ‘purpose, functions or delivery’ of education in one university or nation. They can only exist as relationships. Second, global relations are understood in terms of connectedness – people, institutions and ideas crossing borders – but while connections are certainly part of the picture, to define the global in this manner leaves us stuck at the rim of the ‘national container’. We need a way of imagining the global in higher education that brings it into open view, enhances its potential value and interrogates relations of power within it (relationships are not always symmetrical), even while national and local phenomena can also freely appear. The paper will argue that the global is most usefully understood in terms of relational systems at the world and world-regional level, and globalisation as the process of integration on this scale. Just as national higher education is a process of nation-state building, globalisation in higher education and science is a process of world-building. Global systems are partial and uneven, but higher education – especially its knowledge-intensive components – is among the most global of all human activities and constitutes a form of global civil society.

    From anti-colonial to post-global and back again: Geopolitical imaginaries and the study of ‘global’ higher education
    David Mills

    For anticolonial nationalists like Kwame Nkrumah and Nnamdi Azikiwe, the post-war British ‘Asquith’ university colleges represented a second colonialization of the African continent. Instead, Nkrumah argued, such universities, once planted, should ‘take root amidst African traditions and cultures’. These early postcolonial critiques shaped the evolution and Africanisation of universities like Makerere and Dar-es-Salaam. Contemporary visions for ‘post-developmental’ higher education, ‘pluriversities’, or knowledge decolonisation also seek to redefine the contours of higher education systems. In order to understand the influence of these contested geopolitical imaginaries on the field of ‘global’ higher education studies, this paper explores the relationship between policy scholarship, epistemic politics and disciplinary loyalties.

    • 48 min
    CGHE series on international and global higher education – seminar 1: International development in higher education PART TWO

    CGHE series on international and global higher education – seminar 1: International development in higher education PART TWO

    Maia Chankseliani and Tristan McGowan on international development in higher education International development space in higher education
    Maia Chankseliani

    Higher education is a vibrant and growing field of studies within social sciences. Higher education scholarship frequently frames the subject of its study as ‘international’, ‘comparative’ or ‘global’ and in this respect overlaps with a sister field of comparative and international education. As a scholar working at the intersection of these two fields, I recognise that the following three spaces within the field of higher education studies – international, comparative and global – have never been clearly delineated. The diversity of spaces within the field of higher education can be explained, among other factors, by the eclecticism of the field that builds on the intellectual contributions from education studies, history, economics, sociology, linguistics, geography, business and management studies, political science, philosophy, anthropology, psychology. This presentation starts by offering a broad conceptualisation of the international (development) space within the field of higher education studies. An overview of definitional issues, that is embedded in the historical origins of the interest in international development, is followed by the explanation of key theoretical approaches, disciplinary lenses, main areas of research, and methodologies pertaining to international development higher education. Various actors working in this space and the academic publications covering the space are also overviewed. At the heart of international development higher education is the assumption that the world can be made better by human effort invested in higher education. The presentation examines this assumption by addressing the following three questions: What do we know on higher education’s contributions to international development? What kind of development? What kind of higher education institutions have been assumed to be central to development?

    The higher education – international development nexus
    Tristan McCowan

    The relationship between higher education and the development of societies is commonly viewed as being straightforward and linear, with the former driving the latter at the individual level through human capital development, and at the collective level through advancements in science and technology. Yet these are just part of a series of complex relationships. This presentation starts by reviewing the state of play of existing theoretical and empirical literature on higher education in international development, before proposing new ways of framing the field. The main distinction is between the instrumental and constitutive roles of higher education. The former includes the economic rationales outlined above, but also a range of non-economic outcomes including the political ones of educating a critical and active citizenry. It is important to acknowledge that the causal relationship may go the other way, with development driving higher education expansion. Higher education also has a constitutive role when a world-class higher education system is seen to confer developed status, if it is seen as upholding human rights or being part of human development. While the above assume a positive relationship, it is also important to acknowledge potential pernicious influences, such as exacerbation of inequalities and fostering of conflict. However, the most elusive and potentially most generative role of universities is in contributing to deliberation over and construction of our very conception of what development is. These ideas will be illustrated through a range of examples from Latin America and Sub-Saharan Africa, and an assessment of the policies of influential international organisations. The implications of these heterogeneous roles for contemporary supranational and national policy in higher education will also be drawn out.

    • 39 min
    CGHE series on international and global higher education – seminar 1: International development in higher education PART ONE

    CGHE series on international and global higher education – seminar 1: International development in higher education PART ONE

    Maia Chankseliani and Tristan McGowan on international development in higher education International development space in higher education
    Maia Chankseliani

    Higher education is a vibrant and growing field of studies within social sciences. Higher education scholarship frequently frames the subject of its study as ‘international’, ‘comparative’ or ‘global’ and in this respect overlaps with a sister field of comparative and international education. As a scholar working at the intersection of these two fields, I recognise that the following three spaces within the field of higher education studies – international, comparative and global – have never been clearly delineated. The diversity of spaces within the field of higher education can be explained, among other factors, by the eclecticism of the field that builds on the intellectual contributions from education studies, history, economics, sociology, linguistics, geography, business and management studies, political science, philosophy, anthropology, psychology. This presentation starts by offering a broad conceptualisation of the international (development) space within the field of higher education studies. An overview of definitional issues, that is embedded in the historical origins of the interest in international development, is followed by the explanation of key theoretical approaches, disciplinary lenses, main areas of research, and methodologies pertaining to international development higher education. Various actors working in this space and the academic publications covering the space are also overviewed. At the heart of international development higher education is the assumption that the world can be made better by human effort invested in higher education. The presentation examines this assumption by addressing the following three questions: What do we know on higher education’s contributions to international development? What kind of development? What kind of higher education institutions have been assumed to be central to development?

    The higher education – international development nexus
    Tristan McCowan

    The relationship between higher education and the development of societies is commonly viewed as being straightforward and linear, with the former driving the latter at the individual level through human capital development, and at the collective level through advancements in science and technology. Yet these are just part of a series of complex relationships. This presentation starts by reviewing the state of play of existing theoretical and empirical literature on higher education in international development, before proposing new ways of framing the field. The main distinction is between the instrumental and constitutive roles of higher education. The former includes the economic rationales outlined above, but also a range of non-economic outcomes including the political ones of educating a critical and active citizenry. It is important to acknowledge that the causal relationship may go the other way, with development driving higher education expansion. Higher education also has a constitutive role when a world-class higher education system is seen to confer developed status, if it is seen as upholding human rights or being part of human development. While the above assume a positive relationship, it is also important to acknowledge potential pernicious influences, such as exacerbation of inequalities and fostering of conflict. However, the most elusive and potentially most generative role of universities is in contributing to deliberation over and construction of our very conception of what development is. These ideas will be illustrated through a range of examples from Latin America and Sub-Saharan Africa, and an assessment of the policies of influential international organisations. The implications of these heterogeneous roles for contemporary supranational and national policy in higher education will also be drawn out.

    • 53 min
    When Global Players Struggle: The Political and Material Aspects of International Organisations’ Cooperation in Higher Education

    When Global Players Struggle: The Political and Material Aspects of International Organisations’ Cooperation in Higher Education

    University of Lyon 2's Dorota Dakowska on re-examining the transnational circulation of policy schemes relative to Higher Education governance This contribution re-examines the transnational circulation of policy schemes relative to Higher Education governance. It focuses on the relations between international and European organisations (Council of Europe, European Commission, OECD, UNESCO), characterised by competition followed by cooperation and international division of tasks. In order to explain the conditions under which higher education / knowledge policies circulate, we need to take into account not only the political and ideational positioning of these IOs but also the material aspects of their relationships. IOs appear as paradoxical arenas of knowledge circulation. Deemed as powerful and influent, they face unequal access to resources and uncertainty. While acknowledging their role as global players, I will stress their (inter)dependence and the multiple ways they struggle to maintain their position.

    • 1 hr 11 min
    Us and them? Analysing the inclusion of foreign-born academics in British academia

    Us and them? Analysing the inclusion of foreign-born academics in British academia

    Abertay University's Toma Pustelnikovaite on the nuances underlying the influx of migrant academics into the UK. Featuring research with Dr Shiona Chillas (University of St Andrews).

    The number of foreign academics in the UK has been increasing over the last forty years, and currently comprises a third of UK’s academic profession (Lenihan and Witherspoon 2018). Existing research on migrant scholars, however, tends to focus on international careers and analyse mobility as a resource for career development and progression. Distinctively, our paper seeks to understand how the academic profession has responded to the influx of migrant scholars.

    We draw on the concept of social closure in the sociology of professions, and on empirical data from 62 semi-structured interviews with foreign-born academics working in 13 British universities. Findings show that academia has developed three social closure strategies – integration, exclusion and subordination – to control the absorption of migrant academics. The profession enacts these strategies to subtly regulate access, work and intra-professional relationships, selectively incorporating foreign-born academics and maintaining the status quo.

    The paper demonstrates nuances underlying the influx of migrant academics into the UK, suggesting that patterns of inclusion shape migrant scholars’ working lives.

    • 1 hr 15 min

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