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Keywords:

  • international education;
  • internationalisation;
  • higher education;
  • marketing practices;
  • cosmopolitanism;
  • embodied learner

Abstract

This article is a critical examination of practices and representations that constitute international education. While international education has provided substantial contributions and benefits for nation-states and international students, we question the discourses and practices which inform the international education export industry. The ‘brand identities’ of receiving or host countries imply that they are welcoming, respectful of multiculturalism and have a well established intellectual history, in contrast to international students' embodied experiences. There is also a tendency to represent and regard international students as disembodied learners. We conclude that these disjunctures between disembodied representations and embodied experiences are undermining the kinds of cosmopolitan sensibilities that international education claims to provide.