Making Asian students, making students Asian: The racialisation of export education in Auckland, New Zealand



Abstract:  In recent years, international education has become a source of considerable political, academic and media debate in New Zealand. This is nowhere more the case than with regards to Auckland, the New Zealand city that has hosted the greatest number of international students. This paper focuses on the media debates around international students in Auckland with particular emphasis on the representations of the largest group of international students, those who originate from countries within the North-East Asian region. The media representations of these students have fixed a diverse group of individuals within a singular racial identity that is known by stereotypical economic, cultural and social characteristics. As a result, these representations have further problematised the interaction between international students and the host population in Auckland while simultaneously implicating a cohort of young New Zealand citizens and permanent residents who are of similar descent within the same discourses. This process of othering the Asian student, regardless of citizenship, has consequences not simply for the practice of exporting education in this city but also for the future of a multicultural Auckland and New Zealand.