Global gatherings and digital divides

This research project problematises the discourse of internationalisation in higher education, by drawing on issues of geopolitics and the digital.  It takes a critical approach to current imperatives that universities should ‘think global’, incorporating the expansion of ‘digital learning’ , by considering how higher education institutions are made international, both physically and digitally.

The project’s starting point in the literature is Sidhu and Dall’Alba’s (2011) work on ‘International education and (dis)embodied cosmopolitanisms’, in which the authors critique the education ‘export industry’, arguing that there is a gap between the way international students are represented (disembodied) and student experiences (embodied), which works against the promise of the ‘cosmopolitan’ in international education.  This project builds on this analysis in a digital context, opening up new ways of thinking about internationalisation and the digital for a range of academic and non-academic university practitioners.

Research questions:

  • What work is the term ‘internationalisation’ doing in recent policy and research literature in relation to digital education?
  • How might a more nuanced understanding of the ‘digital divide’ and ‘digital inequality’ benefit the development of policy and pedagogy in digital education?
  • What can digital and visual research methods contribute to understanding the currency of ‘internationalisation’ in education?


Research areas
Data Society
Digital Cultures
Research team

Society for Research in Higher Education