Theorising the Eduscape I: The Neoliberal, the Managerial and the Regulatory State

  • Xianlin Song
  • Greg McCarthy
Part of the Mobility & Politics book series (MPP)


Over the past three decades, Asian mobility has been critiqued through the lens of three dominant theoretical framings of Australian universities: the neoliberal, the managerial and the regulatory state. The neoliberal cascade permeates the policy imagination of higher education, redefining students as purely capital-logic maximisers, and universities as competing in a global ranking market for students; the managerial interpretation is a product of globalisation in terms of funding, ranking competitions, student mobility and staff appointments; and the eduscape is profoundly affected by state policies, decisions and regulatory regimes. In examining these three interpretations of the higher education sector in Australia, we have argued that while these theoretical imaginaries offer powerful insights into the governance of Asian international students and academic mobility, what is missing is a coherent argument that links the educational debates with Australia’s colonial racial past and its global racialised present. In their mobility, Asian international students and academics carry with them their multiple identities, temporalities, epistemological differences and alternative forms of imagining, and these must be taken into account to capture the full picture of the eduscape.


Neoliberalism Corporatisation Regulatory state Eduscape Higher education 


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Authors and Affiliations

  • Xianlin Song
    • 1
  • Greg McCarthy
    • 1
  1. 1.University of Western AustraliaPerthAustralia

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