Asia Pacific Education Review

, Volume 14, Issue 1, pp 43-53

First online:

British degrees made in Hong Kong: an enquiry into the role of space and place in transnational education

  • Maggi W. H. LeungAffiliated withUtrecht University Email author 
  • , Johanna L. WatersAffiliated withThe University of Birmingham

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The fundamental logic of transnational education programmes is a one-to-one transfer of institutional capital across space and an unimportance of place. This article interrogates these presumptions and argues that space and place play an important role in transnational education. Drawing on research that examines the experiences of students and graduates of British degree programmes offered in Hong Kong, we conclude that institutional capital does not always travel wholly and smoothly due to a combination of policy-related, social, cultural and economic factors. Our findings also underline the importance of place in students’ experiences, which are not sufficiently recognised by the providers. This, in turn, affects the ability of students to cultivate institutional and other forms of social capital, with implications for subsequent employment opportunities and social mobility.


Transnational education British degree programmes Hong Kong