International academics in English higher education: practising and capturing mobile careers

Coey, Christopher ORCID: 0000-0001-7353-6824
(2013) International academics in English higher education: practising and capturing mobile careers. Doctor of Philosophy thesis, University of Liverpool.

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Academics, and the institutions which host them, are increasingly positioned as central components of national and regional innovation systems and as producers of skilled workers for the purported knowledge society. At the same time, globalising and internationalising discourses have constructed an image of highly skilled knowledge workers, including academics, as in demand and highly mobile. In academia, these trends have converged in the idea of a ‘war for talent’, in which institutions compete internationally to attract and retain the ‘best’ people. To some extent these notions extend already established understandings of academics as cosmopolitan and academic fields as transnational, yet their scale and instrumentalisation represents a distinct break from the past. The purpose of this thesis is to explore the empirical reality underlying these discourses through experiences and practices of non-UK citizen academics in the English higher education sector. Using original analysis of HESA data, it first describes recent trends and patterns in non-UK academic staffing in the English sector, and relates these trends to a qualitative analysis of the internationalisation policies of a broad sample of English institutions and other stakeholder organisations. Interviews with 23 non-UK citizen academics in two English higher education institutions explore the ways in which they understand, engage with and practice migration in their careers. It explores incentives and disincentives for migration, rationales for the directions and destinations of migratory flows, and the degree to which these non-UK citizen academics are represented in the imagined ‘mobile academic’ of policy and discourse. In addition, it explores the ways in which non-UK citizen academics in two universities contribute to the internationalisation of their institutions. The study provides a rich understanding of the character and role of non-UK academics in the internationalisation of English higher education, and the ways in which their practices and experiences reflect broader trends, policy agendas and discourses. Outcomes of the study build on and contribute to existing literature and theory, and are relevant to policy makers at institutional and other policy scales.

Item Type: Thesis (Doctor of Philosophy)
Additional Information: Date: 2013-10 (completed)
Uncontrolled Keywords: academic careers, higher education, internationalisation, migration, mobility
Subjects: ?? HM ??
Divisions: Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences > School of Law and Social Justice
Depositing User: Symplectic Admin
Date Deposited: 06 Aug 2014 10:11
Last Modified: 16 Dec 2022 04:42
DOI: 10.17638/00017813
  • Ackers, Louise
  • Waters, Johanna