International education ‘here’ and ‘there’: geographies, materialities and differentiated mobilities within UK degrees

Jihyun Lee, Johanna Waters

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)
23 Downloads (Pure)


This paper explores how mobility is experienced differentially in international education, through a comparison of two ostensibly very distinct student groups. Both groups have non-UK citizenship and have studied, or are studying, for a British higher education degree – one in the UK, the other in Hong Kong. Through a dual focus on the materialities and mobilities within international higher education, we consider the extent to which physical mobility across borders is a defining feature of the experiences and outcomes of those engaging in international education. We argue that combining perspectives of mobilities and materialities challenges simplistic dichotomies of im/mobility amongst students and unsettles the boundaries between onshore and offshore international education. Our paper provides a more granular and nuanced understanding of the relationship between im/mobility, international higher education and social reproduction.

Original languageEnglish
JournalSocial & Cultural Geography
Early online date18 Apr 2022
Publication statusPublished online - 18 Apr 2022

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
The authors thank all those who kindly gave up their time to be interviewed, and Professor Maggi Leung who was a co-Investigator on the TNE project and kindly let us use the data from this project to make the arguments presented in this paper. Yutin Ki was an excellent research assistant to the TNE project. The latter project was funded by the ESRC in the UK and the RGC in Hong Kong.

Funding Information:
The second project was funded by the Economic Social Research Council in the UK and the Research Grants Council in Hong Kong.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2022 Informa UK Limited, trading as Taylor & Francis Group.


  • Materialities
  • mobilities
  • international higher education
  • UK
  • Hong Kong


Dive into the research topics of 'International education ‘here’ and ‘there’: geographies, materialities and differentiated mobilities within UK degrees'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this