Navigating global regimes of mobility : the onward mobility of African international students in China

Streaming Media


Department of Sociology and Social Policy, Lingnan University

Event Title

Sociology Seminar Series 2021-2022

Document Type

Public Seminar




10:30am -12:00nn


LYH310, 3/F, Lau Lee Yuen Haan Amenities Building, Lingnan University, Hong Kong


Sociology and Social Policy


Employing a theoretical framework that draws on the concept of global regimes of mobility and Bourdieu’s theory of practice, this paper seeks to analyse how African student migrants in China navigate global structural inequalities in planning for their post-graduation lives, while strategising to overcome barriers to mobility and capital accumulation. It argues that China’s position within the contemporary global political economy is reflected in the ways these student migrants navigate intersecting global mobility regimes. Moving beyond the ‘stay/return’ binary common in student mobility research, the article delineates three post-study trajectories: returnees, deterred by structural barriers from staying in the host country; those who stay in China, overcoming these barriers by opening businesses, with plans to return home later; and those who plan to accumulate capital in China to meet the requirements of more stringent mobility regimes in the Global North.



Additional Information

Speaker Biography

Benjamin Mulvey is a Research Grants Council Postdoctoral Fellow in the Faculty of Education and Human Development at the Education University of Hong Kong. He previously held a Hong Kong PhD Fellowship at EdUHK, and before that, completed his master's degree at University College London Institute of Education.

Benjamin's research contributes to the understanding of evolving patterns of international student mobility in the Global South from a sociological perspective. He also has an interest in the ethics of migration and higher education internationalisation policies. His work has been published in journals such as Sociology, Higher Education, Journal of Ethnic and Migration Studies, Population, Space and Place, and the British Journal of Sociology of Education.

Recommended Citation

Mulvey, B. (2021, October 25). Navigating global regimes of mobility: The onward mobility of African international students in China [Video podcast]. Retrieved from https://commons.ln.edu.hk/videos/910/