British degrees made in Hong Kong: an enquiry into the role of space and place in transnational education
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.
KeywordsTransnational education British degree programmes Hong Kong
We are grateful to all interviewees who shared with us their opinions and experiences, Yutin Ki for his excellent work and the British Council for its support. This paper is based on research funded by the Economic and Social Research Council (UK) and the Research Grants Council (Hong Kong) (RES-000-22-3000). An earlier draft of this paper was presented at the ARI-GUISM Joint Conference on Education Mobilities in East Asia held at the National University of Singapore in May 2012.
- Bourdieu, P. (1986). The forms of capital. In J. G. Richardson (Ed.), Handbook of theory and research for the sociology of education (pp. 241–258). NY: Greenwood Press.Google Scholar
- Brinton, M. (2000). Social capital in the Japanese youth labour market: Labour market policy, schools, and norms. Policy Studies, 33, 289–306.Google Scholar
- British Council. (2009). Guide to UK qualifications in Hong Kong. Retrieved from http://issuu.com/juhanie/docs/guide_to_uk_qualifications_in_hong_kong_2009_10.
- British Council. (2011). Transnational education in HK. Retrieved from http://www.britishcouncil.org/transnational-education-in-hong-kong.pdf.
- Cosgrove, D. (1989). Geography is everywhere: Culture and symbolism in human landscapes. In D. Gregory & R. Walford (Eds.), Horizons in human geography (pp. 118–135). Basingstoke: Macmillan.Google Scholar
- Education Bureau of Hong Kong. (2011). Post-secondary education: Statistical information. Retrieved from http://www.edb.gov.hk/index.aspx?nodeID=1250&langno=1.
- Hussin, S. & Ismail, A. (2009). Goals, components, and factors considered in university development. Asia Pacific Education Review, 10(1), 83–91.Google Scholar
- Leung, M. W. H. (2012). Read ten thousand books, walk ten thousand miles: Geographical mobility and capital accumulation among Chinese scholars. Transactions of the Institute of British Geographers. Retrieved from http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/j.1475-5661.2012.00526.x/pdf.
- Leung, M., Kyriakidou, N., & Zhang, C. (2010) The great British ‘education takeaway’: A case study on transnational education in Hong Kong. Poster presentation at British Council Going Global 4 Conference. London, UK, 25–16 March 2010. Google Scholar
- McBurnie, G., & Ziguras, C. (2007). Transnational education: Issues and trends in offshore higher education. Florence: Routledge.Google Scholar
- Murphy-Lejeune, E. (2002). Student mobility and narrative in Europe: The new strangers. London: Routledge.Google Scholar
- Ong, A. (1999). Flexible citizenship: The cultural logics of trans-nationality. Durham: Duke University Press.Google Scholar
- Robson, B. (1969). Urban analysis: A study of city structure with special reference to Sunderland. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.Google Scholar
- Tupper, J., Carson, T., Johnson, I., & Mangat, J. (2008). Building place: Students’ negotiation of spaces and citizenship in schools. Canadian Journal of Education, 31(4), 1065–1092.Google Scholar
- UNESCO/Council of Europe. (2001). Code of good practice in the provision of transnational education. Retrieved from http://www.coe.int/t/dg4/highereducation/recognition/code%20of%20good%20practice_EN.asp.
- Waters, J. L., & Leung, M. W. H. (2012). Young people and the reproduction of disadvantage through transnational higher education in Hong Kong. Sociological Research Online, 17(3), 6. Retrieved from http://www.socresonline.org.uk/17/3/6.html.
- Waters, J. L., & Leung, M. W. H. (2013a). A colourful university life? Transnational higher education and the spatial dimensions of institutional social capital in Hong Kong. Population, Space and Place, 19(2), 155–167.Google Scholar
- Waters, J. L., & Leung, M. W. H. (2013b). Immobile transnationalisms? Young people and their in situ experiences of ‘international’ education in Hong Kong. Urban Studies, 50(3), 606–620.Google Scholar
- Webster, B. J., & Yang, M. (2012). Transition, induction and goal achievement: First-year experiences of Hong Kong undergraduates. Asia Pacific Education Review, 13(2), 359–368.Google Scholar