Early Career Researchers Network in Higher Education Studies

The China-centric Era? Rethinking Academic Identity for Sustainable Higher Education Internationalization in China

Speaker: Mr. Xiaoshi LI, The University of Hong Kong
Chair & Discussant: Dr Xu XIN University of Oxford

January 28, 2022 (Friday)
Time: 16:00 – 17:00 (Hong Kong time) by zoom

Registration: Click here


Although recent decades have witnessed remarkable development of China’s higher education (HE) since its Open Door policy in 1978, China’s cross-border collaboration in HE has not always been smooth. The global rise of neo-nationalism in recent years, exacerbated by the COVID-19 crisis, has put international academic collaboration under grave threat. Based on the speaker’s most recent published work with the identical title, this presentation will conduct a critical review of China’s strategy for HE internationalization to discern its underlying rationale and what is encumbering the process. By examining the concept of academic identity through the lens of academic nationalism and academic internationalism in Chinese HE context, it is argued that the crux of China’s cross-border collaboration issue may largely lie in the imbalanced nationalist and internationalist dimensions of Chinese academic identity. The presentation is expected to engage and advance the current dialogues on the challenges and issues of China’s HE internationalization amid geopolitical tensions in an era of flux.


Xiaoshi Li is a PhD candidate in the Faculty of Education at the University of Hong Kong. He has worked as a consultant in international education. His major research interests include higher education internationalization, master’s education, graduate employability and university-to-work transition.

Chair and discussant:

Xin Xu is a Research Fellow at CGHE, Department of Education, and a Junior Research Fellow at Kellogg College, University of Oxford. Xin’s research focuses on academic research, global higher education, and Chinese higher education. Xin’s publications appear in academic journals in English and Chinese languages. Forthcoming books include Changing Higher Education in East Asia (co-edited with Simon Marginson; Bloomsbury; 2022).