Higher Education

, Volume 72, Issue 2, pp 225–239 | Cite as

Cash, competition, or charity: international students and the global imaginary



As the number of students traveling from the Global South to study in the Global North continues to grow (OECD in Education at a glance 2014: highlights. OECD Publishing. Retrieved from http://www.oecd-ilibrary.org/education/education-at-a-glance-2014_eag_highlights-2014-en, 2014), we argue that it is necessary to broaden our conceptual approaches to the study of this dynamic. This article utilizes the framework of “global imaginaries” to examine the links between intensifying international student recruitment and international students’ experiences with racism. We suggest that both recruitment and racism are framed by a dominant global imaginary rooted in Western supremacy. This imaginary both makes Western higher education a desirable product in the global higher education market and shapes the reception of international students.


International students Internationalization Racism Colonialism 


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Educational StudiesUniversity of British ColumbiaVancouverCanada

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