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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




16, Helsinki



Trans-national mobility of international students and academics – a growing phenomenon worldwide

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



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


, ACA, 2010; UKCISA, 2011)



are two major

processes occurring



rapid changes in political space, particularly the creation of regional spaces


within which transnational academic mobility occurs;


– almost everywhere –

policies are being written and implemented

by international and supranational agencies



sporadic, exceptional and limited inter-national academic links have become

systematic, dense, and multiple trans-national

, which is especially visible in Europe.


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 super-power; 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 circulation



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



‘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



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


428,225 in 2011

compared with 405,810 in 2010 (

Total 17%

of student population; an 

increase of 6%


made up 


 of full-time first degree students 

made up 


 of full-time taught postgraduates

made up 


 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




Top EU-sending countries: Republic of Ireland, Germany, France, Greece, Cyprus, Poland, Italy, Spain, Romania, BulgariaPopular 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 WestminsterStudents studying wholly overseas for a UK HE qualification: 408, 685Source: UKCISA (

International students in UK HE


Enrolments of international (non-EU)domiciled students, 2008/09Enrolments 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.”


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



, 2010).

Within the UK, the highest numbers of new appointments

from the EU






, Italy

2695, France 2340,


1905, and



From outside the EU

, the highest numbers of appointees are


2950 (2380 academic staff + 570 researchers),


3730 (2280 academic staff + 1450 researchers), and


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 ne

w transnational academic tribe &

the de-nationalisation of the British academic profession? (Kim, 2009)


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 capability.


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 nationally.


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



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.”


Strategic Plan 2003-2008


Percentage of UK-domiciled first yearstudents from minority ethnic groups, 2008/09

Source: NIACE; Professor Sir David Watson, Oxford, 12 March 2011


Percentage of young full-time first degree entrants fromnational statistics socio-economic classification classes4, 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?





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



, 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


Internationalisation as


and Widening Participation in HE as “social engineering” for neoliberal knowledge economy

Multi-cultural insularity(?) in British HE

- The coexistence of two cultures on campus

entailed by multi-



Complex relations of transnational academic mobility, internationalisation, and interculturality in Higher EducationUnderpinning meanings and forces that shape the Triadic Relations + WP (2) (1) (3)


“Universities have become once again


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 de-contextualised 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 MobilityMaking Boundaries (i)

--- >> Transnational Academic Mobility --- >> Hard Soft____________________________Explicit Implicit


Transnational Academic Mobility Making Boundaries (ii)

Visible Invisible_____________________________Legal-rational Cultural- ReflexiveState Personal Authority Adaptation


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 Mode 2 -----> Mode 3 Based on Incorporating Using Knowledge Capital Social Capital Identity Capital (hierarchical) (interactive, multiple nodes) (entwined, circular movement)


Identity capital as a concept is not context-specific 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


generic competences to engage with


(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


knowledge’ – as defined by Collins (1993) - and subsequently form ‘transnational identity capital’ (Kim, forthcoming).


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.


knowledge is the process of achieving shared understandings through socialisation and acculturation (Collins, 1993).


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





(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.


In the contemporary neoliberal market period (1990-2011) Talents + M1, M2, M3Global Talent Recruitment, Rise and Expansion of Transnational Research Policy and Research Industry Further diversification of Mode 2 knowledge production and Rise of Mode 3 knowledge, significant but in danger of commodification

Transnational Academic Mobility and new Knowledge Creation for


in HE


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-> Finite, isolable competences Training; expected to be acquired through codified knowledge-based courses, degree-programmes, certificates  


Embodied, encultured knowledge

-> Reflexive continuum

A journey to develop, acquire

transnational identity capital

(Kim, 2010)

Existential migration (Greg Madison, 2006); Narrative imagination (Nussbaum, 1997)


For further discussion and future contact:






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