Amy Metcalfe


Research Interests

Higher Education Studies
Migration Studies
Academic Labour and Mobility
Higher Education Policy
Visual Research Methods
Campus Environments
Science and Knowledge

Relevant Thesis-Based Degree Programs


Research Methodology

Visual Research Methods
Research Creation
qualitative methods


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These videos contain some general advice from faculty across UBC on finding and reaching out to a potential thesis supervisor.

Great Supervisor Week Mentions

Each year graduate students are encouraged to give kudos to their supervisors through social media and our website as part of #GreatSupervisorWeek. Below are students who mentioned this supervisor since the initiative was started in 2017.


Amy is inspiring! Always provides critical yet gentle feedback. I want to be like her when I grow up.

Linda Pickthall (2018)


Graduate Student Supervision

Doctoral Student Supervision

Dissertations completed in 2010 or later are listed below. Please note that there is a 6-12 month delay to add the latest dissertations.

Promoting transformative learning in nursing international field schools (2023)

International field schools in nursing provide unique and varied learning opportunities for students. There is limited research on how faculty promote student learning before, during and after an international field school. The purpose of this study was to understand the processes British Columbian (BC) nursing faculty use when promoting student learning in an international field school. Also, the study investigated what student learning outcomes are achieved and what outcomes are important after an international field school. A constructivist grounded theory approach was used to interview nine BC nursing faculty who represented Baccalaureate nursing programs from five universities and four community colleges in BC. Course documents submitted by the faculty and post-secondary institutions’ websites were also reviewed. Results revealed a process that I describe as ‘Promoting Transformative Learning in Nursing International Field Schools.’ Six core themes emerged including: (1) faculty critical reflection; (2) international field school; (3) pedagogical approaches; (4) transformational learning; (5) influencing factors; and (6) social action. Findings support students’ transformational learning when faculty use transformational and experiential learning pedagogies combined with the specific context of the international field school experience. Another important finding is that the first step in the process is the faculty member’s critical reflection where they address their own ethnocentrism as part of developing cultural humility and modelling cultural safety. The process of promoting transformative learning described in this dissertation could be used as a professional development guide for faculty who are new to facilitating international field schools.

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Being precarious: an autoethnographic account of one precarious faculty member's lived experience working in four British Columbia higher education institutions (2021)

Precarious faculty, once used by higher education institutions as auxiliary labour, now dominate post-secondary campuses. With as much as half of post-secondary institutions’ courses now taught by contract academic faculty, post-secondary institutions have systematically come to rely on hiring precarious contract faculty for their respective departmental teaching capacity. As an emerging and significant trend in higher education, this study aims to examine the precarious faculty experience through autoethnographic methods that reflects on my personal experience as a precarious faculty member working at four different higher education institutions in British Columbia from 2016-2018: the Private Online University, City College, the Teaching University, and the Institute. Using Tierney’s (1997) Organizational Culture Theory, coupled with theories of organizational socialization and the role of models and mentorship, I compare my personal experiences of being hired and onboarded at the four different institutions in which I worked as a precarious faculty member. I focus on three themes: the faculty interview process, being evaluated as a precarious faculty member, and resources that I was given (or not). A literature review precedes each personal autoethnographic account; I then proceed to compare and contrast my personal experiences with that of the literature as a way to examine the ways in which my experiences working as a precarious faculty member are consistent with, and divergent from the literature. To conclude, I suggest that there is a lack of standard processes and practices when it comes to hiring precarious faculty. Additionally, I suggest that one’s career stage plays a significant role during hiring. I also suggest that good student evaluations of teaching lead to reappointment for precarious faculty. In terms of performance evaluations, I stress the importance of communication and suggest that precarious faculty are evaluated (sometimes) both formally, and informally. Finally, in terms of resources, I echo the literature that office space is a place of power, and that professional development is a two-way street. I conclude that more personal stories—like mine—are required to better understand what it’s like to be a precarious faculty member in higher education.

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From "friendly relations" to differential fees: a history of international student policy in Canada since World War II (2020)

This dissertation examines the development of policy related to international undergraduate students in Canada since the end of the Second World War. It draws on archival materials from the federal, British Columbia, and Ontario governments, and seven institutions: the University of Toronto, Carleton University, Wilfrid Laurier University, Seneca College, the University of British Columbia, Simon Fraser University, and Kwantlen Polytechnic University. The dissertation unearths the initial proto-policies developed by non-governmental agencies that provided services for international students, and examines how the priorities of these service groups were inherited by institutions as the organizations were formally incorporated into universities and colleges. It follows these early policy makers as they responded to international students’ own emerging consciousness, and the transition of students from welcome visitors to dangerous possible immigrants in the eyes of Members of Parliament. Out of this new context emerged differential tuition fees, which were first contested, then embraced by institutions. As differential fees became normalized, they reshaped institutions, driving them to dramatically expand recruitment efforts of international students. The dissertation concludes by examining another unintended emerging policy, as Canadian immigration policy and international student recruitment efforts combine to situate post-secondary institutions as immigrant selectors. In the process, the dissertation demonstrates the development of international student policy in Canada was uneven and reactive. Policy was crafted informally at the institutional level, or by non-governmental actors, and then formalized by institutions or governments when convenient. Although policies emerged fitfully, Canadian policy makers adopted policies only when beneficial for Canada and Canadian institutions, either politically or economically. Yet international student policies were consistently framed as an expression of the “internationalism” of Canadian higher education. However, the different attitudes towards international students embedded in policy demonstrate competing conceptions of internationalism at the institutional and government level. Finally, the dissertation argues that contemporary policy regarding international students, including the 2014 development of a Federal international education strategy, are not a break from this history but instead the culmination of decades of policy debates.

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Academic public intellectuals' lives: Negotiating the borderlines (2019)

This study presents the life stories of four selected Ethiopian public intellectuals among the diaspora. The overall study is presented in a form of fictionalized narrative based on the entire life experiences of the intellectuals. It is framed using the political economy of Ethiopian higher education as its context. Using fictionalized narratives in educational research is a relatively recent phenomenon. In the larger debate of the fact-fiction distinction (Brockmeier, 2013), the notion of panfictionality suggests that it is hardly possible to draw a hard and fast dividing line between representations that are labeled as fact and fiction (Brockmeier, 2013). This allows for the possibility of presenting real-life stories in a form of fiction. The intellectuals in this study are selected because they had worked in the academy in Ethiopia, are currently employed in a tenure-track position in North America, and are engaged in addressing the public both as an academic as well as public figure. They were asked to participate in the life story interviews which are informed by the notions of public intellectuals and Jakobson’s (2012) symmetric-criticality framework. Interview transcripts were sent back to the participants for accuracy and validity. The author’s subjectivity, positionality, and other ethical issues are addressed to meet institutional requirements. The fictionalized characters narrate stories related to academic freedom, public intellectualism, and speech and silence. They narrate vibrant stories. They tell their stories and speak out about issues that matter to them.

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Mapping the landscape of indigenous student success (2019)

Mapping the Landscape of Indigenous Student Success offers Aboriginal students’ voices as they describe the factors that contributed to their academic success in School District No. 83 in British Columbia (BC). For too long, the focus of research has been on blaming Aboriginal students, families, and communities for Aboriginal students’ lack of success. This dissertation challenges the “deficit” model in so much of the academic literature on Aboriginal student success in BC. While the 16 Grade 12 students profiled in the study offered their insights on the meaning of academic success—they went far beyond a simple definition of success. They expanded the idea of success to reflect relational approaches that include well-being and happiness as measures. In keeping with the relational ethics practiced by the students’ communities, the study’s methodology was also heavily relational. Students, their families, and the community were invited to learn about the study before it began. Once the participants were recruited, they shared their stories in one-on-one-interviews, as well as in talking circles, two methods that fit with the model of reciprocity and equality I aimed to generate in my study. I then carefully unpacked the students’ stories within a theoretical framework of decolonization and inclusive educational practices. As a Métis researcher, I found it necessary to build my own identity into the research process in order to acknowledge my complex history with the Canadian educational system. The Métis Sash also guided the data analysis process, serving as a metaphor to understand the dark history of Canada’s colonial education system, which has directly led to challenges facing Aboriginal students today.I offer students’ stories of success as a way to counter the deficit thinking in educational discourse around Aboriginal students in Canada. A family type relationship based on mutual respect and a positive relationship are key to students’ learning. This is evident from thestudents’ reflections in my research. A teacher’s role in building a supportive, caring relationship is a gateway to success. I hope that these findings will help guide BC schools in becoming more inclusive and engaging for Aboriginal students.

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Contested imaginaries of global justice in the internationalization of higher education (2017)

An emergent ‘critical turn’ in the study and practice of higher education internationalization has generated incisive analyses of the ethical and political implications of international engagements. This reflexive moment, however, also risks renaturalizing an imperial global imaginary, which I trace in this dissertation to the fact that higher education scholars and practitioners in the Global North have yet to substantively unpack the transnational colonial dimensions of the modern Western university. I argue that practitioners and scholars of internationalization have an obligation to face higher education’s historical and contemporary complicity in empire, as well as our own. This is particularly necessary in the context of nation-states that were founded through conquest, and whose ongoing colonial entanglements have both local and global dimensions. Working from a decolonial orientation and an underlying commitment to denaturalize violent and unsustainable patterns of thinking, being, and relating, I ask how inherited frames of liberal justice and humanist theories of change operate in the mainstream study and practice of internationalization in the United States and Canada. In the areas of curriculum internationalization, international student mobility, and global citizenship, I identify a tendency to reassert as universal what are in fact situated, partial, and often Euro-supremacist epistemological and ontological assumptions about the world and the purposes of higher education. Further, these assumptions often calibrate even critical scholarship, which largely remains enframed by what is possible and desirable within the frames of colonial modernity and its promises of security, prosperity, and universality. By identifying the limits of justice within these frames, there is an opportunity to think, be, and relate differently, but at these moments of possibility there is also a tendency to seek out the old comforts and assurances promised by imperial frames. To interrupt this circular tendency requires tracing both the immediate symptoms and the root causes of global injustice, attending to our enduring attachments to the promises offered by the colonial architectures of modern existence, and making a commitment to wrestle with the complexities and difficulties of learning from past mistakes, disinvesting from harmful systems and subjectivities, and experimenting responsibly with alternative possibilities.

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Amid storied, shared, and envisioned lives: a narrative inquiry of undergraduate exchange students in and between Canada and the Republic of Korea (2016)

Despite the growth in the number of participants in exchange programs, exchange students in and between Canada and the Republic of Korea (Korea) have received very little academic attention. To explore student motivations as well as their transnational experiences and their reflections on these experiences, I examined the lives of nine undergraduate exchange students between Canada and Korea, employing a narrative inquiry methodology. Idiosyncratic vignettes of these students’ disjunctures from their home country and multidirectional practices in their host country were analyzed through the theoretical lenses of global flows, cultural and neoliberal globalization, and social imaginaries in the Thirdspace (Soja, 1996, 2009).For the nine exchange students, embarking on an overseas exchange emerged from interactions between global flows and their localities. For these students, going on an exchange was an opportunity not only to be freed from their home country and its many stresses, but also to become equipped with a competitive edge as a global talent. Throughout these engagements with foreignness, they gradually enhanced their critical awareness of pedagogical, cultural, and spatial differences, even if their embrace of otherness was often limited due to their identity as temporary sojourners in the host country.Since exchange programs are based on official agreements between home and host universities, administrative terrains were examined and unequal relationships between universities in Anglophone countries and Korean universities emerged. Arguing that current exchange programs between Canadian and Korean universities have reinforced contemporary social inequality, this study recommends creating more inclusive exchange programs by interjecting diversity into the selection criteria and offering shared spaces where exchange students can interact with local students in their academic, relational, and cultural arenas.

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Engagement for All? A Study of International Undergraduates at the University of British Columbia (2015)

American student engagement literature has identified a set of student behaviours and institutional practices shown to lead to student satisfaction, academic success, and retention to graduation among post-secondary students. However, the relevance of these behaviours and the standardized instrument used to measure them may have limited applicability for non-U.S. students. Building on existing quantitative analysis, through focus groups, this study considered how international and Canadian undergraduate students perceived the National Survey of Student Engagement (NSSE) and select behaviours identified in the student engagement literature. This study found that international students misinterpreted key terms such as faculty members and had subtle but important differences in their perceptions of student behaviours and institutional practices compared to the perceptions of Canadian students.

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Inuit Nunaat as an Emerging Region in Area Studies: Building an Arctic Studies Program South of the Tree Line (2015)

This dissertation addresses the emergence of the Arctic as a distinct world region and actor in international geopolitics and what this means for the field of area studies. I ask how the Arctic fits into the established field of area studies and how the unique characteristics of the region – as defined by Arctic Indigenous peoples – challenge Western understandings of what constitutes a global region including how we understand territory, sovereignty, and the relationship between space and social justice. To answer this question I analyze how the Arctic region maps onto the preexisting geographies of sovereignty as held by the U.S. Title VI program. In the United States the field of area studies has been significantly influenced by the Department of Defense and later the Department of Education via the Title VI grant program. Title VI provides grants to support area and international studies and foreign languages at colleges and universities across the country. The program has traditionally defined world regions based on the nation-state model, and it identifies important areas of the world as those critical to U.S. interests. In order to answer how the particular characteristics of the Arctic, specifically Indigenous worldviews, challenge and broaden current understandings of area studies I first seek to understand the Arctic from a northern perspective. How do the Inuit in Canada and internationally define their homeland, and what is the relevance of Inuit Nunangat (Inuit territory in Canada) and Inuit Nunaat (Inuit homeland internationally) to domestic and international relations? Next, I explore how Inuit concepts of territory further the voice and self-determination of the Inuit. Finally, I conduct an analytic autoethnography of the Arctic studies initiative at the University of Washington culminating in the inclusion of the Arctic as a distinct world region in the Canadian Studies Center's 2014 Title VI grant proposal. I argue that understanding the Arctic as a global actor – via the lens of new thinking in international relations theory, theories of social justice, and Inuit concepts of space – has the potential to reconfigure area studies in higher education to more effectively address 21st century global challenges.

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Otherwise, elsewhere: International doctoral students in globalized, transnational spaces (2013)

This study asked broad questions about how and why talented individuals from around the world imagine and choose to pursue doctoral education in a particular location (the University of British Columbia in Vancouver, Canada), their experiences as international doctoral students in constructing and navigating their lives and studies in place and space, and their imagined careers, accomplishments, responsibilities and locations as they emerge from formal education with its apex of achievement. These trajectories into, through and beyond doctoral education were viewed through the lens of globalization theory and theories of capital with the purpose of understanding further how the phenomena associated with globalizing and networked social fields (including higher education, research, policy, work and migration) are reflected in student purposes, imaginations, choices and experiences. A case-study design focusing on a single institution and a multiple, embedded case research method which analyzed personal narratives were used. The study found that international doctoral students pursue PhDs with many purposes in mind, some of which reflect dominant policy and institutional discourses of purpose for doctoral education (such as human capital development, career preparation and knowledge production). However, students were also found to utilize doctoral education abroad as a mechanism for building less theorized forms of capital, for contributing to social good, and for pursuing sometimes surprising private purposes. Their experiences in first becoming and then navigating life as international graduate students demonstrated immersion and engagement in the attributes of deeply globalized societies, including networked technologies, high levels of mobility, globalized fields of education, research and work, and transnational spaces in which borders and identities become more fluid. The growing global embrace of neoliberal, market-based ideologies infiltrated student experience and imagined careers in nuanced ways. However, while large-scale forces of globalization clearly shape international doctoral student trajectories, these forces are not homogenizing nor fully controlling of student experiences. Students navigate these forces with agency and strategy within their personal ranges of motion, and offer a multiplicity of narratives and trajectories that counter any singular notion of the “international doctoral student”. Implications for doctoral education, public policy, and further research are advanced.

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Introductory Economics Courses and the University's Commitments to Sustainability (2012)

The three largest public universities in British Columbia, Canada have signed the Talloires Declaration, committing themselves to promoting students’ environmental literacy and ecological citizenship. As a result, there is pressure to integrate sustainability across the curriculum. Using a case study approach involving these three universities and qualitative research methods, this dissertation explores the potential implications of sustainability commitments for principles of economics curriculum, drawing on a theoretical framework grounded in ecological economics and other literatures.About 40% of North American university students take a principles of economics course; relatively few go on to take more advanced economics courses. As such, this course is an important vehicle for many students to learn economic theory and the economics profession’s approach to evaluating public policy, and it has the potential to substantially contribute to the knowledge and tools that students can mobilize to foster sustainability.To examine how sustainability commitments play out in the classroom, this study relied on content analysis of nine principles of economics textbooks and 74 interviews from three populations at the three universities. The first group consisted of 54 students who had recently completed an introductory economics course. The second comprised 11 economists who deliver the course. The third involved nine professors who teach undergraduates in programs that explicitly focus on sustainability and require that students take introductory economics. Findings suggest that universities’ sustainability commitments have yet to influence principles of economics curriculum and that the curriculum does not support these commitments. The textbooks and courses appear to do little to prepare students to understand sustainability issues or potential limits to growth. Sustainability is not salient to lecturers, and disciplinary culture limits prospects that mainstream economics departments will integrate sustainability into curriculum. In part, this inertia may exist because addressing sustainability has the potential to create problems of plausibility and coherence for mainstream economic theory. Recommendations are offered for reflecting sustainability commitments in economics curriculum, but it is unclear whether economics departments are interested in, or have the capacity to deliver, such a course.

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Canadian philanthropy and higher education : funding shifts, organizational restructuring and the repositioning of academic culture in university museums (2011)

The study analyses the changes to higher education funding, organizational structure and academic culture at two academic boundary organizations, the University of British Columbia’s Museum of Anthropology (MOA) and Beaty Biodiversity Museum (BBM). The study is framed by a blended theoretical construct that includes academic capitalism theory, theories of academic culture, and theories of critical museology as a conceptual framework. Drawing from these theoretical concepts, the qualitative sources of interview data, and quantitative documents, the study provides a missing element in the existing theory on academic capitalism and suggests a refinement in the existing literature on higher education research, in particular how to account for the increasingly important influences of academic fundraising as it plays out in two academic museums as examples of boundary organizations.The MOA and BBM are the two study sites for the doctoral research as a result of their successful receipt in January 2002 of a research infrastructure grant from the Canadian Foundation for Innovation (CFI) which stipulates a matching grant of 40% of the funding to come from the province, and the remaining 20% from industry support and community donors. This emphasis on a new funding mix to include industry partnerships and input from the academic fundraising mechanism has influenced the organizational structure and culture of these two academic boundary organizations. The major findings indicate changes to the organizational structure of both units to include management teams, advisory boards, as well as an emphasis on entrepreneurial and marketing experience in the skill set of academics. The repositioning of academic culture indicates that these boundary organizations have shifted their introspective research towards a public outreach experience and recognize that with a competitive funding environment comes the need for academic units to be innovative and territorial.

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Strengthening Scholarly Publishing in Africa: Assessing the Potential of Online Systems (2011)

This study investigated current publishing practices among scholarly journals in Africa, while exploring the potential contribution of online publishing systems to aid those practices. This study examined how current systems, largely involving traditional publishing methods, offer Africans limited opportunities and incremental gains in taking advantage of faster and wider dissemination of digital systems for scholarly communication. Issues about authorship, readership, editorial and peer review, as well as the level of science resources in African academic libraries, were studied. Using a well-articulated, mixed-mode research design, this study has assembled data from 286 key actors – journal editors, potential journal editors, librarians, IT administrators, faculty and postgraduate students – from sub -Saharan Africa during a 12-month period in 2007–09. Drawing on this data set, this study documents and analyzes the unparalleled availability of journals and other information resources made available to the African research community through digital technologies and publisher policies, as well as current constraints in ICT infrastructure, training, and support inhibiting the utilization of these same technologies in advancing African scholarly publishing efforts. This study establishes the high level of energy and excitement among journals editors, librarians, and IT administrators about the compelling new possibilities offered by new digital technologies. Drawing on what has been learned in this study, recommendations are made for tapping into the full potential of these technologies in strengthening research capacity, improving the quality of research, reducing Africa’s isolation from the global scholarly community, and ultimately narrowing the information divide.

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The outside within : heteronomy in the training of forest researchers (2009)

This study of research training in the University of British Columbia’s Faculty of Forestry is framed by Bourdieu’s theory of fields. Drawing from quantitative and qualitative sources of evidence, the study documents the training of recruits in a research field that is not autonomous (self-governed) but heteronomous (governed by others). UBC Forestry plays a key role in the reproduction of the field of forest research. The field of forest research is the social space located at the intersection of the scientific field (where scientists conduct systematic inquiry) and the forest sector (where companies, government, and others decide on the use of forests and their products). Forest research is not governed by its own rules but rather by the combined logics of its two parent fields. At stake in the field is the capacity to mobilize leading science to identify pathways to the solution of pressing forest-related problems. The Faculty of Forestry and its members rely on various forms of capital from both the scientific field and the forest sector, embracing research problems with social, economic, political, and environmental implications, and collaboration with other organizations. The faculty members, adjunct professors, and graduate students involved in the reproduction of the field of forest research come to Forestry with diverse disciplinary and professional backgrounds. Most research projects involve non-academic partners, and the impact of this involvement on students varies according to the partners’ involvement in research. The autonomy of students varies according to the ratio between the volume and forms of the capital they bring and the total capital required by their projects. Most students undertake a Master’s or Ph.D. degree program after observing a gap between their aspirations and the positions available to them. Their problematic relationship to their position of origin makes them likely to incorporate the habitus of forest research. As their training progresses, the majority of students become aligned with the field of forest research and aim to continue addressing forest-sector problems with the means of science. Some, however, strategically use their research training to launch or improve a different career.

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Master's Student Supervision

Theses completed in 2010 or later are listed below. Please note that there is a 6-12 month delay to add the latest theses.

The Indigenization of student affairs and services in Canadian higher education (2021)

Many Canadian higher education institutions are actively Indigenizing their college and university campuses, including the delivery of services and programming are for all students, Indigenous and non-Indigenous. Significant milestones such as the findings and calls to action of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada have renewed focus on the Indigenization in higher education. This focus may require Student Affairs and Services (SAS) professionals to change how they think about and execute their work with students for student services professionals. Through 12 semi-structured interviews with student services employees, this research study aimed to understand how they made sense of Indigenization. Indigenization requires an intentional commitment to change on both a personal and institutional level. It also involves localization and connection with Indigenous peoples and communities. Participants identified ways they had made sense of Indigenization, including affirming Indigenous knowledge and forming meaning about Indigenization. Secondly, participants provided examples of Indigenization activities within individual university departments, through connections outside the university, and university-wide initiatives. Finally, the study summarized ways participants were learning (unlearning and re-learning) about Indigeneity in Canada. Examples of learning sources included: directly from the department of Indigenous student services, independent learning outside of the university, campus-based activities and events, and learning from Indigenous peoples. The concepts of sensemaking and sense-giving, as well as unlearning, were used to examine the data. The study found that Indigenization at this university campus is an on-going process, and those interviewed were still making sense of Indigenization. This study captures a specific moment at a post-secondary education institution in British Columbia for Indigenous students and Student Affairs and Services professionals.

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Diverse realities and policy portrayals : what teacher experiences bring to the antiracism policy process (2015)

This project was inspired by my desire to investigate what teacher experiences could bring to the antiracism policy process. I provided a space within which study participants could talk about their experiences teaching racially and ethnically diverse students and asked them to look at how those experiences are represented in or framed by district multicultural or antiracist policy. Informed by critical antiracist theory, I collected qualitative data using critical policy analysis, individual interviews and a focus group whereby study participants came together to discuss and analyze a specific policy text issued by the school district. I enacted a critical policy analysis that set the context of these discussions by explicating the tensions and coalescences of educational policy, race and the city, and by providing an initial thematic analysis of the policy text in question. I then constructed assertions based on the discussion transcripts, asserting that: participants talked more in terms of bullying and anti-bullying than in terms of racism and antiracism; participants were concerned with how students understood racism and accusations of racism; participants talked about policy as disconnected from their everyday realities and as only minimally relevant to their teaching, and participants did not see the particular policy text analyzed as useful or relevant to their experience. In examining these assertions within the greater context of the city, I identified ways in which discursive maneuvering within policy and media impacts conceptions of race and racism. I also considered how teachers are simultaneously positioned as objects of and agents within policy, which may provide useful spaces for influencing the policy process. In conclusion, I argued for a more meaningful and relevant relationship between teachers and education policy, policy that must maintain the tenets of social justice, including antiracism, at its core.

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Internationalizing Chinese higher education institutions (2012)

In this qualitative case study, I explored how internationalization is interpreted at a higher education institution in Shanghai, China. By using a theoretical framework containing Knight’s (2004) model, Marginson and Rhoades’ (2002) concept of ‘Glo-na-cal’, and Tierney’s (1998) academic culture, I attempted to answer three main research questions: How is internationalization interpreted at the national level, in terms of strategies, approaches, and rationales? How is internationalization interpreted at the institutional level, in terms of activities and rationales? At the core of the internationalization of higher education in China lies potential academic cultural clashes. How is this clash manifested, and how is this clash addressed at the institutional level? This study took place at School of Economics, Pacific University in China. Data collection took place from late March through mid-April 2011 using a strategic sample of participants including domestically trained scholars, returnee scholars, and senior administrators in the school. Data collection consisted of semi-structured interviews and document collection. Interviews were conducted in Mandarin and were digitally recorded and subsequently transcribed, coded, and analyzed thematically. The findings of this study suggest that internationalization of higher education has taken a narrow and pragmatic approach in China’s national policy level: internationalization is treated as a means to achieve national goals in technology innovation and creativity, and economic competitiveness through building world-class universities. However, there is a lack of well-articulated strategies of how to achieve the world-class university status. The absence of concrete strategies imposed from the national level does make room for suitable strategies and activities at the institutional level internationalization process. The case study institution has developed a set of strategies for internationalization, including overseas recruiting and strengthening academic environment, curriculum reform and strengthening teaching quality, emphasis on research and intensifying academic exchange. Nevertheless, true internationalization does not come easily. A lack of collegial academic culture is shown at the case study institution between the domestically trained faculty and returnee scholars. From a macro perspective, this study also indicates a frequent interaction among the local, national, and global levels during the process of internationalizing a Chinese higher education institution.

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Undercurrents Influencing Public Funding for Canadian Higher Education Institutions 1963-1997: Economic Discomfort and Policy Mood (2011)

There is a tenuous link between government intentions and funding for higher education institutions during recessions. Sorting out this puzzle involves developing a better understanding of the influences on government policy choices for funding. This study uses theoretical frameworks from political science to guide the design and selection of measures to interpret economic and political variables associated with government expenditures on higher education institutions in Canada between 1963 and 1997. The general model builds on current variables used in the literature by adding measures of voters’ economic discomfort, policy feedback through prior period expenditures, and constructing a measure of policy mood of federal voters as a proxy for public opinion. In general, federal funding for universities tends to decrease with policy feedback, community college funding increases with economic discomfort, and vocational funding decrease as federal GDP increases. At the same time, provincial funding for universities tends to increase with provincial GDP and community college funding increases with provincial GDP and Employment Insurance applications. In summary, there is a statistically significant trend of federal government expenditures shifting funds between institutional types during recessions. In the Maritimes, federal funding creates a net shift from community colleges to vocational institutes. Outside of the Maritimes, federal funding tends to shift from community colleges to universities and vocational institutes.

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Mexican Private Higher Education: The Potential of Private and Public Goods (2010)

In this qualitative case study, I explore the organizational processes and policy discourses at one private higher education institution in Mexico. By using a theoretical framework relative to contestations between the global “ideology of privatization” in education (Rizvi, 2006; Rizvi & Lingard, 2009) and the “global public good” of private education (Marginson, 2007; Menashy, 2009), I examine how external forces are influencing a private institution and its opportunities relative to the public/private good. The study provides answers to three main research questions: 1. What are the assumptions, beliefs and knowledge of upper level management of the private education institution with regard to the global and local forces (economic, political, technological, and social) that influence the organization and its opportunities? 2. What are the assumptions, beliefs and knowledge of upper level management in internal processes in response to external pressures relative to the provision of public versus private goods? 3. How does the institution position itself relative to other educational opportunities (public and private) at the local, national, and global levels?The study was undertaken at an established private business school in Mexico. Data collection took place from February through April 2010 using a strategic sample of participants (men and women) with high-level positions in the school. The study consisted of semi structured interviews, which were digitally recorded and subsequently transcribed, coded, and analyzed thematically. The findings of this study reveal interesting issues and processes of the social imaginary of senior level executives related to neoliberal discourses, predominantly in relation to the effects of competition in higher education. Particular attention is paid to the institution’s potential to generate public and private goods, and to the value of positional goods relative to other educational opportunities (public and private) at the local, national and global levels.

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