Wednesday 13th March, 1-2pm, Room C1.11 (Social Sciences Building)
Co-hosted AMIN & Centre for Education Studies Seminar
National professional contexts and their consequences for international mobility in academia: exploring academics’ roots and routes
Toma Pustelnikovaite, Abertay University (presenting); Shiona Chillas, University of St Andrews
Current understanding of international academic mobility tends to view academic careers as residing in individuals and detached from the context(s) within which they unfold. Distinctively, our paper takes a contextual perspective and specifically looks at international academic careers as embedded in the professional contexts of at least two countries. Such an analysis expands the research focus beyond job transitions and draws attention to migrant academics’ conditions of work and how these conditions affect academic mobility. Based on 62 semi-structured interviews with foreign-born academics employed in the UK, we investigate the relationship between national professional structures and migrant academics’ decisions to come and remain in the UK. We argue that the availability of (relatively) good quality employment shapes international academic mobility more than country preferences. However, academics may become ‘stuck’ in the country even when employment conditions deteriorate, not only because they gradually acquire location-specific capital through working in the UK, but also because they lose the capital needed for another international move. This paper therefore shows that ‘stickiness’ in international mobility involves not only being ‘locked-into’ a country but also being ‘locked-out’ of another, and in so doing contributes to knowledge about the ways in which migrant academics become stuck whilst working abroad.
Toma Pustelnikovaite is Lecturer in Human Resource Management at Abertay University. She completed her PhD at the University of St Andrews in 2018, with a thesis entitled “The working lives of migrant professionals: exploring the case of migrant academics”. Toma’s research is in the area of sociology of work, employment and professions. She is interested in migrant labour, higher education, diversity in professions, as well as knowledge work and workers. Toma has given a number of invited presentations and public lectures in the UK and abroad on her research on migrant academics, and published a book chapter on knowledge work with Routledge. She has also been a Visiting Lecturer at Kiev National Economic University, and received several research and scholarship grants from the University of St Andrews, British Sociological Association, and British Council Researcher Links/Newton Fund. At present, Toma is working on publications from her doctoral research.
Wednesday 19th June, 4-5pm, Room TBC
Co-hosted AMIN & Centre for Applied Linguistics Seminar
Move or Perish? The Transnational Mobility of Researchers in Swiss Academia
Marie Sautier, University of Lausanne
Even though considered a global phenomenon, the internationalization of researchers varies widely between countries. In Switzerland, a particularly competitive and attractive academic environment in which more than 50% of the academic workforce comes from foreign countries, local researchers are highly encouraged to move abroad for some time; especially at the beginning of their career. Our study aimed at exploring the geographical trajectories of young researchers working in the Swiss academic context through their lived experience. Drawing on a qualitative analysis of 65 semi-structured interviews featuring post-doctoral researchers of various nationalities, scientific fields, and family arrangements, we analysed how female and male researchers negotiate the institutional pressures to be geographically mobile with their own scientific, professional, and private concerns. We used ideal-types in our analysis to get beyond the traditional binary opposition of mobile and immobile. We employed a new theoretical framework based on the concept of “motility” (Kaufmann, 2002) that allowed us to go beyond a representation of mobility as a “move across spaces.” Instead, we considered mobility in both its practical and aspirational dimensions. Through the concepts of “sticky” and “stuck,” we show how mobility as a practice and mobility as an aspiration are intertwined with personal and social characteristics on one hand, and institutional and career logics on the other hand.
Marie Sautier is a PhD candidate at the Center for the Sociology of Organizations, Sciences Po Paris (France) and at the Institute of Social Sciences, University of Lausanne (Switzerland). Her research interests include the trajectories of researchers in life-course perspective, academic careers, the internationalisation of HE, gender equality policies and the use of ethnography in sociology. She participated in the Garcia project, an extensive EU research initiative that focused on gendered career trajectories in different countries, and also took part in a cross-national pilot study (UCL) exploring the perceived impact of the 2016 Brexit referendum on higher education circulation in Europe. Her PhD research focuses on the geographical mobility of early career researchers in cross-national perspective.
AMIN symposium at BAICE (British Association for International and Comparative Education) Conference, University of York
'Querying the Mobility Imperative: Critical Approaches to Academic Mobilities Research'
12th September, 2018
Symposium convened by Emily Henderson
Speakers and presentations:
'A PhD in motion: a critical academic mobilities approach to researching short-term mobility schemes for doctoral students' - Emily Henderson, University of Warwick
'Enhancing the employability of international students: towards a more complex understanding of Chinese students in UK universities' - Xuemeng Cao, University of Warwick
'Ticking the "other" box: positional identities of East Asian academics in UK universities, internationalisation and diversification' - Terri Kim, UEL
'The working lives of foreign-born scholars in British academia: a note on inclusion' - Toma Pustelnikovaite, Abertay University
AMIN Meet the Editors Event
Date: Friday 22nd June 2018
Venue: C1.11 (Social Sciences Building, University of Warwick)
The Academic Mobilities and Immobilities Network (AMIN) hosted its last event of this academic year on meeting the editors of leading higher education journals. Our speakers were Professor Rosemary Deem and Professor Susan Robertson, representing the journal Higher Education and the journal Globalisation, Societies and Education respectively. The speakers discussed current directions and interests of the journals, shared editorial strategies, explained the peer review process, and provided advice on issues that researchers should consider when drafting their manuscripts.
Professor Rosemary Deem (OBE) is the Vice-Principal for Teaching innovation; Equality & Diversity) and Dean of the Doctoral School at Royal Holloway University of London. She has a long editorial experience serving on journals such as Studies on Women Abstracts, Journal of Teacher Development, The Sociological Review. She is currently a Co-Editor of the Higher Education Journal.
Professor Susan Robertson is a Professor at the Faculty of Education, University of Cambridge. She has a long editorial experience serving on education research journals. She is currently Editor in Chief of the journal Globalisation, Societies and Education, and a member of Editorial Boards in the following journals: Education Policy Analysis Archives and Educational Researcher.
Seminar on 'Discrimination and Identity Work: the Role of Ethnic Identity and Silence'
Date: Wednesday 6th June 2018
Venue: A1.11 (Social Sciences Building, University of Warwick)
The Academic Mobilities and Immobilities Network (AMIN) and the Professional and Academic Discourses (PAD) Network have co-hosted a seminar on discrimination and identity work.
Our speaker was Dr Dulini Fernando, Associate Professor at Warwick Business School (WBS). In her presentation, Dr Fernando has shared insights from her research conducted together with Professor Gerardo Patriotta, Professor of Organizational Studies at WBS. The research draws on the accounts of South Asian migrant academics in research-intensive universities in the UK to show how people do identity work to repair threats caused by discrimination, and how their identity work is shaped by the collective identity that triggered the discrimination.
If you would like to explore the presentation delivered during this seminar, please contact Dr Fernando at Dulini.Fernando@wbs.ac.uk.
Employability and Academic Mobility
Date: Tuesday 23rd January 2018
Time: 13:00 - 14:30
Venue: B0.41/43, Institute for Employment Research (IER), University of Warwick
The Academic Mobilities and Immobilities Network (AMIN) has hosted its first event of the year on the topic of employability and academic mobility. Two presentations have been discussed as part of this event.
Xuemeng Cao: Enhancing the employability of international students: what are the stereotypes of Chinese international students
To access the slides, click here.
The employability of university graduates has been a topic heatedly discussed in educational and economic domains over the past decades. It is also attracting increasing interest among researchers who specialized in the education-to-work transition of new graduates. However, existing literature on employability has a strong national focus, but few studies concentrate on the increasingly international dimensions of Higher Education and graduate employability. China is the country exporting the largest number of overseas students, with most of them regarding international experience as a significant stepping stone towards the success of future career. Nevertheless, insufficient research exists on the specific understanding of Chinese students on the relationship between their overseas learning experience and their employability enhancement. The research that this presentation is based on takes Chinese international students (who completed their undergraduate studies in China) studying social science taught Master’s programmes in the UK as the sample, to explore how they manage their employability during their time living and learning overseas. This presentation aims to share my interest in this research area, my understanding of the term “employability”, how this research has been designed, what data has been collected up to date and what are the potential contributions of this research.
Dr Giulio Marini and Dr Celia Whitchurch: The impact of a changing academic profession on career paths and aspirations
Centre for Global Higher Education (CGHE), Institute of Education – University College London (UCL)
To access the slides, click here.
In the context of significant changes in the employment contract for academic staff worldwide, the session will report on a study of the implications of a diversifying higher education workforce for systems, institutions and individuals. In the light of interviews with a range of respondents in eight case study institutions, it considers how approaches to work and careers may be influenced as much by informal opportunities and relationships as by formal structures and processes. It goes on to show how individuals navigate the structures in which they find themselves, and explores how greater instrumentality as reflected in, for instance, workload models and teaching- or research-only roles, is counterbalanced by accommodations between individuals and local managers that are not necessarily formally articulated. A comparison between two pre-1992 institutions of different academic shape, size and mission draws out some common themes and variables.
Creative Workshop - Academic mobility: snakes, ladders and flying carpets
Date: Monday 27th November 2017
Time: 12:00-14:00 (Lunch provided.)
Venue: A1.11, Social Sciences Building, University of Warwick
On 27th November 20117, AMIN organised a workshop led by Mary Courtney (a local artist – you can find more info here: www.marycourtneycoventry.com). This workshop aimed to activate participants' creative thinking about academic mobilities and immobilities.
Mary took us on a creative drawing journey to activate participants’ creative thinking about academic mobilities and immobilities. Participants had the chance to work collaboratively and on individual basis.
We did a warm up exercise to develop unique creatures in groups leading to some exquisite drawings.
This was followed up by an individual exercise of a unique, never seen before fantasy creature that will have the power of being ‘unconditionally’ academically mobile. We considered and integrated hybrid features to help these creatures with this ‘mission’.
Then, we created collaboratively a board game of snakes, ladders and flying carpets to reflect the obvious and hidden obstacles (snakes), facilitators (ladders) and super-enablers (flying carpets) to academic mobility.
It was a creative and fun session for all participants attending and led to some ingenious artefacts!
Unraveling academic mobility: fresh frameworks of thought
Following up the work from our AMIN network, Charikleia Tzanakou organised a Symposium on 'Unraveling academic mobility: fresh frameworks of thought’ at the SRHE Annual Conference on Friday 8th of December 2017. You can find more information about the Symposium below.
Mobility has been romanticized in policy and academic discourse as a positive force (Robertson, 2010) and is often investigated as a resource for career development and progression of individuals or as contributing to national economic growth and advancement (brain-drain/gain) (Fahey and Kenway, 2010; Gibson and McKenzie, 2010). A number of quantitative studies and reports have emerged providing outlines of who is moving, where and why (de Weert et al. 2013; IDEA Consult; Appelt et al, 2015; Auriol et al, 2013; Guthrie et al., 2017). However, little attention has so far been paid to the lived experiences and individual accounts of those experiencing academic mobility as part of their academic professional journeys, to explore not only how this affects their careers, perceptions, identities and networks but also which structural issues it raises (e.g. institutional, national, supranational) beyond the individual. This panel was built upon previous work and contributed to the discussion about ‘how an individual’s story can illuminate bigger issues and also how fresh frameworks of thought can shed further light on individual stories’ (Fahey and Kenway, 2010, p.565). Furthermore, the Symposium offered different ways of researching and theorizing academic mobility.
The symposium included participants from across the career spectrum and from a range of international institutional contexts and disciplinary trajectories. While the papers represented different empirical perspectives on academic mobility, they are united by a common focus on the methodological qualitative lens to understanding the lived experiences, perceptions and identities of individuals involved in (im)mobilities. Charikleia Tzanakou looked at how (im)mobilities during and after doctoral experience affected career decisions of Greek natural scientists and engineers and raised issues of European project collaborations and academic inbreeding; Terri Kim and Wilson Ng interrogated the positional identities and (im)mobile networks of East Asian academics in Britain; Emily F. Henderson investigated academic mobility and suggested a conceptual proposal of mobilities through the analysis of two doctoral mobility schemes; Toma Pustelnikovaite examined working lives of foreign born academics in British academia, looking at careers situated in localized professional structures rather than residing in individuals; Marie Sautier explored the practices and discourses of international mobility in Swiss academia through mobile scientists’ accounts.
Academic Mobilities and Immobilities Network & Centre for Education Studies, University of Warwick
'Beyond student immobility: complicating a limiting discourse'
Speakers: Josef Ploner (University of Hull) & Holly Henderson (University of Birmingham)
Date: Wednesday 15th November 2017
Time: 13:00 - 14:30 (sandwich lunch provided)
Venue: C1.11/15 Centre for Education Studies, University of Warwick, Coventry, CV4 7AL
On 15th November 2017, the Academic Mobilities and Immobilities Network (AMIN) and the Centre for Education Studies (CES) at the University of Warwick held a roundtable on the topic of 'Beyond student immobility: complicating a limiting discourse'. The event featured two presentations from our guest speakers, Josef Ploner from the University of Hull, and Holly Henderson from the University of Birmingham. Please find below an overview of the presentations delivered, as well as links to access the PowerPoint presentations, kindly provided by our speakers.
About Josef Ploner
Josef Ploner has an interdisciplinary background, including Anthropology, Tourism and Heritage Studies, and is now a Lecturer in International Education at Hull. Josef’s expertise lies in the field of international students and transnational higher education. He has been involved in a number of different research projects, including research on internationalisation, internationalisation and equality and diversity, intercultural learning in Higher Education. Josef has published a number of articles and reports of note, including a recent article in Mobilities on international student mobility, and research reports published with the HEA and the ECU.
'The non-linear mobilities of international students to UK Higher Education – resilience, moorings and academic hospitality' by Josef Ploner, University of Hull
For slides click here.
International student mobilities to and through UK higher education have been widely described as linear journeys undertaken by a new class of ambitious individuals who emanate from privileged socio-economic backgrounds in emerging industrialising countries. Together with assertions that international higher education is both an agent and by-product of neoliberal globalisation, elitism and power flows, little attention has been drawn to ‘international’ students who do not necessarily fit into this category, and whose biographies are characterised by power struggles, precariousness, physical and social immobility, or stressful experiences linked to migration and diaspora.
In this presentation, I share findings from biographical research undertaken with seemingly ‘non-mainstream’ international students, so as to trace their often non-linear, troublesome, and fragmented educational journeys to UK higher education. Conceptually, the paper draws on the notion of ‘resilience’, (understood as a set of qualities enabling mastery and defiance in adversity), as well as the idea of ‘mooring’ (John Urry’s ‘stable’ antidote to mobilities and states of flux). Finally, the presentation touches on more recent research I have undertaken around ‘academic hospitality’ – an idea through which I seek to examine the role of universities as meaningful ‘moorings’ for diverse international student communities.
About Holly Henderson
Holly Henderson is an ESRC-funded doctoral researcher at the School of Education, University of Birmingham. Her PhD project is exploring student experiences of college-based Higher Education (HE) in England, conceptualising college-based HE student futures in terms of place, space and (im)mobilities. She is particularly interested in theorising subjectivities in relation to space, time and narrative, and the methodological challenges related to these theorisations. Her previous research focused on the construction of teacher professional identities with relation to sexualities and gender.
'Moving beyond immobility: Local students’ narratives of undergraduate mobility' by y Henderson, University of Birmingham
For slides click here.
In the English Higher Education (HE) context, ‘going to’ university is commonly associated with leaving the familial home at the age of eighteen and moving to a new city. This presentation sets out to problematise dominant narratives of student mobilities, by focusing on the everyday and imagined mobilities of ‘local’ students, who stay in place for their degree education. The presentation is based on data from interviews with undergraduate students at two Further Education Colleges in England. Situated in areas of the country with a relative lack of university provision, the colleges are already part of a narrative of (im)mobility, offering HE to students who are unlikely to leave the area. Within this overarching narrative, the presentation focuses on three challenges to the binary opposition between student mobilities and immobilities. First, the simple association between immobility, disadvantage and deficit is challenged. The second challenge draws out the complex mobilities of the local or ‘commuter’ student, who is often assumed to be immobile. In the final part of the presentation, the imagined ‘other lives’ of local students challenge their characterisation as unable or unwilling to imagine student mobility. Overall, the presentation both highlights and seeks to resist powerful popular understandings of mobilities and undergraduate education.
End of Year Event: AMIN Conveners’ Round Table
Date: Monday 3rd July 2017
Time: 1 - 3pm
Venue: C1.11/15 Centre for Education Studies, University of Warwick, Coventry, CV4 7AL, United Kingdom
In this round table event, the AMIN conveners will present their research-based perspectives on key issues of academic mobility, including the challenges that the events of the past year have presented for this field of research, and the urgent concerns which we feel need to be addressed going forward. After our first year of fascinating and diverse events as the AMIN network, it is now our turn as conveners to bring the year to a close – and make plans for the next year.
The event begins with a networking lunch, where attendees are encouraged to bring research posters/reports/flyers/publications to showcase the work in this field that is happening across Warwick, in both academic departments and professional services.
We will then hold a round table discussion, introduced and chaired by Stephanie Schnurr (CAL), with interventions by Heike Behle (IER), Emily Henderson (CES) and Charoula Tzanakou (PAIS).
Heike’s intervention will include her ‘lessons learned this year’, including the potential for both incoming and outgoing students to enhance their transferable skills – and the importance of ‘internationalisation at home’, where students can gain international experience by participating in UK campus life. In the light of the UK leaving the EU, Heike will make the argument that universities need to continue to keep international experience as an opportunity for UK students, and that it will be necessary to keep up efforts to attract international students to the UK.
Emily will focus on the ‘immobility’ strand of AMIN’s priority areas, in relation to two current concerns. Firstly, she will comment on international concerns around border politics in relation to the mobility of higher education students and staff, particularly relating to travel restrictions and event boycotts. Secondly, Emily will share some of the lessons she has learned through working on the inequalities of access to and within conferences.
Charoula will focus on issues relating to gender, partnership, dual-career academics, and life-course dynamics in mobility patterns. Secondly, she will touch on the question of mobilities research, asking how individual accounts of mobility can talk to wider issues and structures.
AMIN and IER (Institute for Employment Research) Research Seminar
"Academic mobilities and employability - different ways to gain international experiences"
23rd May 2017, 12:30-2pm, IER Meeting Room B0.41/43 (Social Sciences Building, University of Warwick)
Eluned Jones (University of Birmingham) and Toni Wright (Newman University); Gaby Atfield (IER, University of Warwick)
You can access the presentations here:
On International Women's Day (8th March, 2017), AMIN hosted a symposium on Gendering Academic Mobility:International Perspectives' and Academic Mobilities, in collaboration with SRHE's International Research and Researchers Network.
“Gendering Academic Mobility: International Perspectives”
8th March 2017, University of Warwick, Coventry
Venue: IAS Seminar Room, Millburn House, University of Warwick, CV4 7HS
The internationalisation of the academic profession is often portrayed as a positive if not an essential trend of the current moment ofhigher education. Key to this trend is the global mobility of academics: from doctoral researchers to academic ‘stars’, scholars are encouraged to engage in international travel. Academic mobility includes short-term mobility such as conferences and international visits, as well as longer-term visiting positions and research collaborations, and of course permanent and semi-permanent moves within the global job market. Despite the glossy image of international academic mobility that appears in media, policy and research, there is also a counter narrative that offers a more critical perspective. As this counter narrative indicates, increasingly required mobility is not beneficial for all involved, and it is certainly not distributed evenly across geographical regions and demographic groups. Academic mobility is marked by transitions between the Global North and the Global South, between the higher education systems of ‘developing’ versus ‘developed’ countries and by the many hierarchies that stem from differing legacies of knowledge producers versus objects of knowledge. Academics are not immune to inequalities that continue to reinforce societal power balances, and they are not without caring responsibilities and geographical ties that pull against the expectation of individualistic behaviour. This exciting event brings together a range of approaches to addressing gender in relation to international academic mobility, by addressing geographies of mobility, obstacles to and effects of mobility, ways of facilitating less individualistic mobility, and the intersection of gender with other identity characteristics.
The event will be situated at the University Warwick and is co-hosted by AMIN – Academic Mobilities and Immobilities Network. There will be four presentations from international scholars. Thushari Welikala (Kings College London, UK) will present on ‘Being women and being migrant: confronting double strangeness in UK higher education’. Channah Herschberg (Radboud University, Netherlands) will duscuss 'Inequality practices in the construction of international mobility as a selection criterion for assistant professor positions'
The final two papers will give different perspectives on the mobility of dual career couples: Mark de Vos (University of Copenhagen) will present on ‘The benefits of dual careers services for women working in academia or beyond: Evidence from EURAXESS projects (TOP III) and University of Copenhagen’, and Charoula Tzanakou (University of Warwick, AMIN co-convener) on ‘Provisions for dual career couples: addressing or reinforcing gender inequalities?’.
Podcasts of presentations:
Presenter: Johannes Angermuller, CAL
Title of Presentation: “Gender and mobility in academic careers: Preliminary results from the DISCONEX project”
Many academics move between places to advance in their careers. Institutional mobility is often linked to geographical mobility. Yet not everybody is mobile in the same way and gender is an important factor. In this contribution, I will present first, very preliminary results from the DISCONEX project on academics in two disciplines (linguistics, sociology) and four countries (Germany, France, UK, Germany). We are coding about 3000 academic CVs which reveal biographical career patterns specific to these fields. Against a background in enunciative pragmatic and deictic space theory, I will ask how their mobility as physical and social beings is related to ‘subject positions’ in scientific spaces which they negotiate through text and talk.
You can access Johannes' slides here.
You can also read Sixian's blog about the event here.
16th February 2017, 1-1:30 networking lunch (provided), 1:30-2:30 seminar
Venue: A014, Social Sciences Building, University of Warwick
AMIN in association with the CES Education Research Seminar Programme, hosted Terri Kim, an expert on academic mobilities research and policy from UEL’s CASS School of Education and Communities.
Venue: C1.11/15, Social Sciences Building.
Date: Wednesday 9th November, 2016
There will be a networking lunch from 1-1:30pm and the seminar from 1:30-2:30pm.
"Academic Mobility and the Varieties of Academic Capitalism: a Comparative Perspective"
In this seminar, I will offer a brief overview of the state of the field of academic mobilities research and policy before illustrating my current work on the relationship between transnational academic mobility and the varieties of academic capitalism. Academic mobility crossing borders has existed since ancient times, but the international regulation of cross-border academic mobility and knowledge as ‘capital’ is a more modern phenomenon developed since the age of mercantilism (in the 17th through 19th centuries) in the rise of nation-states. In the age of academic capitalism, universities are conscripted as part of knowledge economy and the importation of scientists and scholars are considered more strategically necessary for scientific knowledge transfer and innovation in international competition. However, it is not straightforward how they make their way within global academic hierarchies. My current research attempts to illuminate unequal power relations which are at work in the process of forming and shaping academic ‘capital’ among globally mobile academics. The analysis of this article will focus on the transnational cultural dimensions of academic mobility and knowledge creation and their mutual entanglement in the conventional boundaries and hierarchies.
You can access Terri's presentation here.
You can also read Emily's blog about this event here.
Round table and networking event: "Academic mobility: Who is (not) moving and why?"
When? Tuesday 1st November 2016, 12-2pm
Where? S2.77 (Social Sciences Building)
AMIN hosted an informal round table discussion and networking event on Tuesday 1st November 2016, 12-2pm. The theme of the discussion was "Academic mobility: who is (not) moving and why?".
The discussion built on our early discussions as a network of barriers and enablers to mobilities, and different understandings of 'academic mobility'. In particular the discussion was crafted around AMIN's key goal to bring together mobilities researchers and practitioners.
The three speakers at the event reflected this goal:
- Poonam Dave (Warwick's Global Engagement Office) discussed her work in relation to internationalisation at home
- Teresa MacKinnon (Modern Languages) discussed her research and practice in the area of virtual mobility ( Teresa has contributed a blog piece regarding this discussion here)
- Ruth Dorrell (Warwick in Africa) discussed the Warwick in Africa scheme in relation to student and staff short-term mobility (Ruth has contributed a blog piece regarding this discussion here)