• Mobile agency and relational webs in women’s narratives of international study

      Anderson, Vivienne; Cone, Tiffany; Rafferty, Rachel; Inoue, Naoko; University of Otago; Asian University for Women; University of Derby; Daito Bunka University (Springer, 2021-04-14)
      Internationalisation and forced migration are rarely thought about as related phenomena in higher education (HE) literature. Internationalisation is associated with movement, choice and brand recognition, and used in international rankings methodologies as a proxy for quality. Forced migration is associated with movement, but also with lack of choice, containment, or ‘stuckness’. Some scholars have called for a rethinking of ‘the international’ through attention to students as mobile agents, and international study situated within broader mobile lives. Our study responded to these calls through exploring the educational biographies of 37 international and refugee-background women students based in two universities: 21 in New Zealand, and 16 in Bangladesh. Ten of the women were from refugee or refugee-like backgrounds, while the remainder, were international students. The women’s accounts revealed the complex ways in which circumstances shaped their educational journeys similarly and differently. One woman represented mobility in relation to autonomy and choice; but most emphasised relational webs as shaping their access to and experiences of international study, and post-study aspirations. In this paper, we draw on selected narratives to illustrate the range of ways in which family and/or community members appeared in women’s accounts of their education journeys: as a source of (1) sustenance and support; (2) inspiration and motivation; and (3) obligation, and sometimes, regulation. We conclude by suggesting that attention to the affective and embodied entanglements that shape students’ international study journeys might inform new ways of thinking about both ‘the international’ and higher education more broadly.
    • Narratives Of Navigation: Refugee-Background Women’s Higher Education Journeys In Bangladesh And New Zealand

      Anderson, Vivienne; Cone, Tiffany; Inoue, Naoko; Rafferty, Rachel; University of Otago; Asian University for Women; Daito Bunka University; University of Derby (Sites: New Series, Association of Social Anthropologists of Aotearoa New Zealand, 2020-12-30)
      Navigating higher education (HE) is a complex exercise for many students, including those from refugee backgrounds. Internationally, only a very small percentage of refugee-background students access HE. In a 2018 study, we explored 37 women students’ narrative accounts of international study in Bangladesh and New Zealand. Our participants included 10 women from refugee backgrounds. Theoretically, our research was a response to calls from critical scholars to consider the different circumstances that shape students’ international study, and the ethical and pedagogical implications of these for ‘host’ institutions. In this article, we explore the refugee-background women’s accounts of accessing, navigating, and thinking beyond HE, and their thoughts on factors that support refugee-background students’ success in HE. We argue for the need to: reject ‘grand narratives’ in relation to refugee-background students; acknowledge students’ ‘necessary skillfulness’ while supporting their capacity to navigate HE; and recognise refugee-background students’ commitments and influence beyond HE institutions.