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Type: Book chapter
Title: Changing social relations in higher education: the first-year international student and the 'Chinese learner' in Australia
Author: Song, X.
Citation: Universities in transition: Foregrounding social contexts of knowledge in the first year experience, 2014 / Brook, H., Fergie, D., Maeorg, M., Michell, D. (ed./s), Ch.5, pp.127-156
Publisher: University of Adelaide Press
Publisher Place: Adelaide
Issue Date: 2014
ISBN: 9781922064820
Statement of
Xianlin Song
Abstract: Throughout history, human movements beyond borders — geographical, cultural, intellectual or otherwise — have narrowed the distances between peoples and expanded their horizons. Border crossings and the physical annihilation of space enable peoples to interact and learn from one another and consequently alter the relationships between those involved (Dewey, 1993). Globalisation in higher education has created one of the most momentous border crossings in Australia's history; it has not only changed the face of students' population in Australia, but also transformed the social relations between university policymakers, academics and students. This chapter examines the effects of changing social relations in Australian higher education where first-year international students are concerned. In the context of students' diversity, the chapter seeks to question the appropriateness of essentialising and teaching a particular type of 'critical thinking' that erases the cultural borders these students have crossed. It engages with the ongoing debates on negotiating identities in the globalising university 'contact zone' (Kenway and Bullen, 2003), and attempts to demystify certain characteristics of the 'Chinese learner'. Taking up the theoretical concept of a 'social imaginary' advanced by Rizvi Universities in Transition 128 and Lingard (2010), this chapter argues for an alternative imaginary to conceptualise the identities of international students in higher education. It advocates a Confucian educational paradigm that regards everyone, irrespective of where they come from, as educable and having the right of equal access to quality education.
Rights: © 2014 The Contributors. This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License.
RMID: 0030016801
Published version:
Appears in Collections:Asian Studies publications

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