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Overview 1.Outline several theoretical approaches to understanding the dynamics of motion and mobility 2.Metaphors of motion-commotion/location-dislocation.

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Presentation on theme: "Overview 1.Outline several theoretical approaches to understanding the dynamics of motion and mobility 2.Metaphors of motion-commotion/location-dislocation."— Presentation transcript:


2 Overview 1.Outline several theoretical approaches to understanding the dynamics of motion and mobility 2.Metaphors of motion-commotion/location-dislocation to explore the dynamics of transnational student mobility in higher education 3.Identify the dimensions of transnational student mobility 4.Map different kinds of transnational student mobility within and beyond the boundaries of national states 5.The role of transnational student mobility in re/producing personal, political and class projects and uneven geographies of power and knowledge.

3 Three Approaches to Spatiality, Temporality, Sociality 1.Space of Flows/ Space of Places (Castells, 2005) i.Flows and place are counter-posed and binarized. Flows are the dominant spatial form arising from transformations in the new global economy. Flows operate at three levels: the material support arising from digital signals; nodes and hubs which structure the connections and key activities of given locale(s); and the spatial organisation of the dominant managerial elites who direct social activity (e.g. Reich’s [1990] symbolic analyst). ii.Places are outside of the network society. The form, function and meaning of a locale are self-contained. iii.This is a techno-science-managerial account which reifies and valorises flows as belonging to a dis-embedded, digital, global world, and where points of fixity – such as hubs and nodes - are not place-based. 2.Fixity and motion (Harvey, 1982) i.The historical geography of capitalist production is constructed out of the intersecting motions of capital and labour (p. 405) and the tensions between fixity and motion in the circulation of capital (concentration and dispersal; local commitment and global concerns (p. 422). Multiple and diverse forums in which class and fractional struggle can unfold. 3.Logics, capabilities and tipping points - (Sassen, 2006) i.Logics are the outcome of organising ideological projects; capabilities are collective productions whose utilities are conditioned by the relational system within which they function; tipping points are when capabilities enable switching from one relational system to another.

4 Motion Contemporary projects (political, economic, cultural social) and theoretical approaches to globalisation advance, fetishise and valorise ‘motion’, ‘mobility’, ‘movement’ in time/space Commotion Motion destabilises existing points of fixity and breaks them open. These ‘motion’ projects are constitutive of new socialities, spatialities and temporalities, and therefore the way space is implicated in power, production and social relations.

5 Location Place – lived space; the outcome of efforts to contain, to immobilise; constituted out of spatialised relations and the narratives about these which fix meanings (Massey, 1994)…where the local brings together different scales of practice/social action (Amin, 2004). Dis-location De-stabilised spatialised social relations as new ensembles of material objects, labour and institutions, offer alternative narratives constitutive of competing new socio-spatial relations (Hudson, 2001).


7 Polyvalent Transnational Student Mobility The transnational movement of students is a dynamic, polyvalent and multi-scalar phenomenon. Involves setting into motion socially-embedded selves and institutions, their movement over national borders or renegotiation of national regulatory boundaries, and their re/dislocation in new social formations. These are complex economic, cultural, political and social processes are multi-dimensional, overlapping, and contradictory. Involves individual, institutional, national and supranational projects with uneven geographies, and unanticipated, outcomes.

8 Transnational education markets (institutional, national, regional, global) - flows of students from one place to another; calculations of global value EU Research Area e.g. Erasmus Mundus recruits brain power from around the globe; EU’s mobility as ‘fifth freedom’ Development assistance e.g. Commonwealth Scholarships, Chinese Africa scholarships, Components of consortia e.g. to secure status/brand - WUN International Schools Diplomacy initiatives, e.g. Fulbright Program, Erasmus Mundus, Building regional and global identities e.g. EU Erasmus Mobility programme; cosmopolitanism as global identity; International Schools Personal and social development Dimensions Forms/ Initiatives

9 Transnational education markets (institutional, national, regional, global) - flows of students from one place to another Search for global talent – R&D initiatives Create new competitive economic spaces– e.g. regions European Higher Education Area/European Research Area e.g. programmes such as Erasmus Mundus recruits brain power from around the globe, or new spaces internally within nations e.g. Korea. Individual/family strategies to secure globally-mediated knowledge spaces within (e.g. International Schools) and across national borders (e.g. Hong Kong students in Vancouver, Waters, 2005, 2009) Development assistance e.g. ADO, Australia; Commonwealth Scholarships, Chinese Africa scholarships Components of networks and consortia e.g. mobility scholarships to thicken relationships across the network, it is co-constitute of the brand and the subjectivity – e.g. WUN/WUN scholar


11 (GOA, 2008: 8)

12 (GAO, 2009: 5)

13 (World Bank, 2007: 19)


15 PotocniK, EC, 2007

16 Diplomacy initiatives Diplomacy initiatives, such as the USA’s Fulbright Program, are promoted particularly during periods when the balance of social forces on the global order are changing or being challenged. These initiatives sit squarely in the middle of foreign policy and national security interests. Rhodes Scholarships (Oxford) (1902)– for the British colonies, the US and Germany – “an understanding between the three great powers will render war impossible”. Contributes to the making of a political elite. Development Initiatives Development assistance – largely taken up by the elite e.g. Commonwealth Scholarships, Chinese Africa scholarships Higher education is enrolled as a form of soft power.

17 Build a ‘regional’ identity – such as the European Commission’s Erasmus Mobility Scheme. This scheme was initially launched in 1987 to ensure the development of a European ‘elite’ committed to the European regionalising project, and to further and embed a European identity to side alongside, and destabilise, the hegemony of a national identity. The Leuven Communique (2009) from the 6 th Bologna Ministerial meeting places a premium on mobility (20% of students by 2020) ‘Transnational elite’ - International Schools, with its ‘International Baccalaureate’, offers a global positional cultural good to a mobile transnational elite. ‘Cosmopolitanism’ – a global identity –an intellectual current that has emerged with globalisation; challenges the nation state as the container of identities. It offers itself as a methodology for globalisation; a way of embracing the ‘other’ (Beck and Grande, 2007)

18 Personal and social development Some of the literature highlights the personal, social development, objectives and outcomes for individuals arising from student mobility. The reasons for student mobility, or the outcomes as a result of that mobility, cannot be reduced to economy policy or political objectives (see Kenway and Fahey, 2008). Mobility motivations may well conflict with, and undermine, official policy. Little evidence to date as to the extent of the personal and social development of those working in the receiving organisations (cosmopolitanism at home). Tendency to see ‘knowledge’ and ‘pedagogy’ of the receiving institution as ‘culturally fixed’ (see Singh, forthcoming). Extends Western modernity.


20 “Policy rationales for exchange [mobility] are never the direct result of what any particular administration wishes, but rather a composite of individual motives, institutional linkages, and national objectives, all of which may come together, or challenge each other at different times” (Snow, 2008).

21 Education as new ‘services’ sector (Kelsey, 2009) Education as soft power/foreign policy (Nye 1990) Transnational capitalist class (Sklair, 2005) Brain drain and circulation in global division of labour – (Nunn 2005, Saxenian, 2006) Networks of private authority (Cutler, 1999) New state-building projects (Robertson, 2009) Global positional good (Brown, 2000) Extension of Western modernity (Mignola, 2003) Denationalisation of the state and mutations in citizenship and sovereignty (Sassen, 2006; Ong 2006) Combinations of ‘capitals’ mobilised to secure the re/production of uneven geography of social relations

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