Seminar 4: The Belt and Road Initiative and Educational Alliances: New modes of Asian regionalism

Date: 19 November - Add to calendar
Time: 3:15 - 4:15pm
Academic: Ravinder Sidhu, Suraiya Abdul Hameed, and Daeul Jeong
Discussant: Stephen Heimans

We examined the influences of China’s Belt and Road Initiative on higher education collaborations, and focus on the entity of the international branch campus. Empirical materials were drawn from two international branch campuses located in Laos and Malaysia. Using sociological theories, we examined the educational, occupational and personal development opportunities afforded to regional students by these new modes of international education. Semi-structured interviews with administrators were used to explore the complexities of branch campus operations. Student and alumni interviews explored the aspirations of students and the trajectories of alumni, including their views on China’s regional presence. We present findings from interviews undertaken at Soochow University in Laos and discuss the complexities of cross-national research in a context of increased geopolitical tension. We conclude with a discussion of the possibilities of the branch campus as an emerging mode of international education, with a focus on the branch campus with Chinese characteristics as one future possibility.