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The portrayal of Chinese international students: A critical review

Join Dr Cora Xu for an insight into her research on Chinese international students. This is an online event that will be live-streamed from Bath.

  • 17 Apr 2023, 3.15pm to 17 Apr 2023, 4.15pm BST (GMT +01:00)
  • Room 3.13, 8 West, University of Bath
  • This event is free

This is an online event. You can attend in person on our Bath campus to watch the event, or join online from your own device.

Dr Cora Xu will discuss her research into the portrayal of Chinese international students, who are often portrayed in a monolithic manner in popular discourse.

To offer a more comprehensive and critical representation of Chinese international students, her research conducts a thematic narrative review of 128 English-language and 74 Chinese -language peer-reviewed articles published between 2015 and 2020.

Drawing on post-colonial theories, this review identifies four subject positions portrayed of Chinese international students: the (1) neoliberal, (2) political, (3) pedagogic, and (4) racialised subjects.

In her paper, she celebrates heartening developments in the literature which affirms Chinese international students’ epistemic contributions, legitimate pedagogic needs, notable heterogeneity, and wide-ranging political, cultural and pedagogic agencies. It also highlights how aspects of these subject positions have exercised epistemic injustice on Chinese international students. Meanwhile, it pinpoints the Chinese international students’ acquiescence in exacerbating global education inequalities.

Among the first to bring the dominant English-language and ‘local’ perspectives of Chinese-language literature in dialogue, this article notes divergent focuses and indicates unique contributions to historicising research on Chinese international students made by the latter. This article challenges popular perceptions of Chinese international students, questions production of knowledge, and pinpoints future research directions.

Watch online

This event will also be streamed live using Zoom. You can register for the live stream online.

Cora Xu

Dr Cora Lingling Xu is Assistant Professor in Education at Durham University, UK. Her research interests include educational mobilities, sociology of time and social theories. She has researched international and cross-border student and academic mobilities, ethnic minority and rurality topics within contemporary Chinese societies.

She is an Executive Editor of the British Journal of Sociology of Education and Associate Editor of Journal of International Students. She also serves on editorial boards of multiple international journals. She is founder and director of Network for Research into Chinese Education Mobilities (NRCEM). Her publications have appeared in high-impact journals, including The Sociological Review, The Chinese Sociological Review, British Journal of Sociology of Education, among others.


The event will take place Room 3.13, 8 West on the University of Bath campus. It will be a live stream. You can also watch it via Zoom using the link on this page.

Room 3.13 8 West University of Bath Claverton Down Bath BA2 7AY United Kingdom

Contact us

If you have any questions about this seminar, the series, or CREA in general, please contact us,