A contemporary definition of diaspora points to communities that are transnationally dispersed but connected to their place of origin. Accordingly, diaspora do not have an objective existence but are forged through a variety of means, involving multiple agencies and sites of formation. One of these sites is higher education.
Based on interviews conducted with Indian and Chinese students in Australia, I will argue in this paper that recent policies and practices of internationalisation of higher education, shaped by a market rationality, have steered international students towards particular forms of diaspora, aligned to a range of beliefs about the importance of their participation within the global economy and in particular their role in facilitating transnational regimes of business activities.
Fazal Rizvi is Professor in the Department of Educational Policy Studies at the University of Illinois, USA, having previously held academic and leadership appointments at a number of universities in Australia, including as the founding Director of the University of Monash Centre for Research in International Education and Pro Vice-Chancellor (International) at the Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology.
Professor Rizvi's disciplinary background is in Philosophy and his research has focused on identity, culture, theories of globalization and global mobility, which have been published as major books and in prestigious journals. His current projects include an examination of how Indian universities negotiate pressures of globalization, and theoretical explorations of the cosmopolitan possibilities of education.
He has presented a number of major addresses including at the British Educational Research Association, the Alliance of International Educators annual meeting in Shanghai and at the Commonwealth Ministers of Education conference in Cape Town.
Professor Rizvi has served on a number of government bodies, including the Australia Council for the Arts and the Australia Foundation for Culture and the Humanities, and has been an international panel member on the UK's Research Assessment Exercise (RAE2008).