Early Career Researchers Network in Higher Education Studies

Agential Theory of Higher Education as Student Self-formation: Empirical and Conceptual Approaches

Speaker: Soyoung LEE  University of Oxford

Chair and Discussant: Dr Andrew Pau HOANG  The University of Hong Kong

Date: October 29, 2021 (Friday)

Time: 16:00-17:00 (HK Time) By Zoom

Registration: Click here


Higher education as student self-formation is an emerging approach to re-determine what is a university for. Despite its effectiveness in foregrounding student agency in higher education research, the comprehensive nature of the self-formation concept imposes challenges for developing its embryonic research programme further. This presentation aims to introduce a possible approach to researching higher education as self-formation, drawing on my doctoral study. The study incorporates both conceptual and empirical approaches into the investigation of two fundamental questions: what is self-formation? How do students engage in self-formation? Focusing on the academic aspect of self-formation, I conceptually elaborate the process of self-formation by working with psychological and sociological theories. Then how students creatively transform themselves in higher education will be explained by using empirical data from local and international South Korean students.

Bio of Speaker

Soyoung LEE is a PhD Candidate in Department of Education, University of Oxford. Soyoung’s research interests involve international students, student agency and cultural differences in higher education. She is a member of Global Higher Education research group and holds her master’s degree from the University of Cambridge.

Bio of Chair & Discussant

Dr Andrew Pau HOANG is a Postdoctoral Fellow in SCAPE and the Academy for Leadership in Teacher Education. He researches the praxis of school support services provision and youth mental health from sociological and anthropological perspectives. He is developing a grounded theory of psychosocial interventions in education as affective technologies, and recently completed a commissioned report on equity and inclusion in Hong Kong higher education for HKU’s senior management team.