Department of Education

Xin Xu

Research Fellow

College Affiliation: Kellogg College

Xin Xu (许心) is a Research Fellow at the Centre for Global Higher Education (CGHE), Department of Education, and a Junior Research Fellow at Kellogg College, University of Oxford. Xin also teaches on the MSc in Education (Higher Education) programme, and supervises DPhil and MSc dissertation projects.

Xin’s research concentrates on the globalisation and internationalisation of higher education and academic research. She has strong interests in the following research areas:

  • Higher education studies, including sociology of higher education, higher education policy, internationalisation and globalisation of higher education, Chinese higher education and culture, higher education in East Asia.
  • Research on research, including research policy, research evaluation, research incentivisation, research culture, research ethics, humanities and social sciences research, academic profession, global knowledge system, international academic mobility, and international research collaboration.

Projects she currently works on include the ESRC-funded CGHE project ‘the role of research in higher education and research assessment’, SRHE-funded project ‘International academics in mainland China’, and BAICE-funded project ‘Ethical research in international and comparative education during Covid-19’.

Xin is co-editor of Changing Higher Education in East Asia (with Simon Marginson; Bloomsbury, 2022) and author of journal articles and book chapters on the themes noted above. She serves on the editorial board of the International Journal of Educational Research and Publications, and on the Research Management Committee of the Centre for Global Higher Education. She also convenes the agenda committee of CGHE Oxford.

Xin was previously an ESRC Postdoctoral Research Fellow at the University of Oxford. She holds a BA in English Language and Literature from Tsinghua University (First-Class Honours, one-year exchange at Heidelberg University), MA in Higher Education from Peking University (Distinction), and DPhil in Education from the University of Oxford (Clarendon Scholar, Emerald/HETL Outstanding Doctoral Research Award winner, CIES Globalization & Education SIG Dissertation Award winner).

Funded Research Projects:

  • Centre for Global Higher Education: The role of research in higher education and research assessment

  • 2020-2023


  • Transnational academic mobility to global south: an exploratory study of international faculty in China

  • 2020-2022

    Society for Research into Higher Education - Co-Principal Investigator

  • Ethical research in international and comparative education during Covid-19

  • 2020-2021

    British Association for International and Comparative Education

  • The landscape of educational research in the UK (2010-20)

  • 2020-2021

    British Academy / Royal Society

  • A comparative study of higher education curriculum on AI ethics

  • 2020

    Department of Education, University of Oxford - Principal Investigator

  • Internationalising humanities and social sciences in China: tensions, implications and collaboration with UK

  • 2019-2020

    ESRC - Principal Investigator

  • Investigating policy and implementation of English medium instruction (EMI) in higher education institutions in China

  • 2019

    British Council China

  • Brexit, Trade, Migration and Higher Education




  • Books

  • Book chapters

    • Marginson, S, XU, XIN (2022) “‘The ensemble of diverse music’: internationalization strategies and endogenous agendas”, In: S Marginson, X XU (eds.) Changing Higher Education in East Asia. Bloomsbury. 1-30

    • MARGINSON, S, Papatsiba, V, XU, XIN (2020) “Feeling the Brexit shock: European connectedness and the existential crisis in UK higher education”, In: C Callender, W Locke, S MARGINSON (eds.) Changing Higher Education for a Changing World. Bloomsbury.

    • XU, XIN “Internationalization of Chinese humanities and social sciences”, In: S Marginson, X XU (eds.) Changing Higher Education in East Asia. Bloomsbury. 129-146

  • Journal articles

    • XU, XIN (2022) “Epistemic diversity and cross-cultural comparative research: ontology, challenges, and outcomes”, Globalisation, Societies and Education.

    • XU, XIN, OANCEA, A, ROSE, H (2022) “The impacts of incentives for international publications on research cultures in Chinese humanities and social sciences”, Minerva: a review of science, learning and policy.

    • XU, X, ROSE, H, OANCEA, A (2021) “Incentivising international publications: institutional policymaking in Chinese higher education”, Studies in Higher Education. 46(6) 1132-1145.

    • Zhou, S, McKinley, J, Rose, H, Xu, X (2021) “English medium higher education in China: challenges and ELT support”, ELT Journal. 76(2) 261-271.

    • Xu, X, Rose, H, McKinley, J, Zhou, S (2021) “The incentivisation of English medium instruction in Chinese universities: policy misfires and misalignments”, Applied Linguistics Review.

    • XU, XIN (2021) “A policy trajectory analysis of the internationalisation of Chinese humanities and social sciences research (1978–2020)”, International Journal of Educational Development.

    • XU, X (2020) “Performing under ‘the baton of administrative power’? Chinese academics’ responses to incentives for international publications”, Research Evaluation. 29(1) 87-99.

    • XU, X (2020) “China ‘goes out’ in a centre/periphery world: Incentivising international publications in the humanities and social sciences”, Higher Education. 80(1) 157-172.

    • Han, S, Xu, X (2019) “How far has the state ‘stepped back’: an exploratory study of the changing governance of higher education in China (1978–2018)”, Higher Education. 78(5) 931-946.

    • Marginson, S, XU, X “Hegemony and inequality in global science: problems of the center-periphery model”, Comparative Education Review.

    • XU, XIN, Braun Střelcová, A, Marini, G, Huang, F, Cai, Y “International academics in mainland China: what do we know and what do we need to know?”, European Journal of Higher Education.

  • Internet publication

    • XU, XIN (2021) What does the rise of Asia mean for global higher education?. Times Higher Education.

    • XU, XIN, ROBINSON, N, WINTERS, N (2021) What’s in a name? The whys and hows of pronouncing students’ names correctly. Times Higher Education.

    • XU, XIN (2020) The hunt for a coronavirus cure is showing how science can change for the better. The Conversation.

    • XU, XIN, ROSE, H, OANCEA, A (2020) Publish Internationally or Perish? Incentive Schemes for International Publications in the Chinese Humanities and Social Sciences (HSS). The Network for Research into Chinese Education Mobilities.

  • Reports

    • Marini, G, XU, XIN (2021) “The Golden Guests”? International Faculty in Mainland Chinese Universities. Society for Research into Higher Education (SRHE).

    • ROSE, H, McKinley, J, XU, X, Zhou, S (2020) Investigating policy and implementation of English-medium instruction in higher education institutions in China. London: British Council.

  • Other

    • OANCEA, A, XU, XIN, ROBSON, J, McDermott, T, SCUTT, C (2021) “Educational research in the United Kingdom, 2010–2020”, Research Intelligence. 149 26-27.

    • Marginson, S, XU, XIN (2021) Moving beyond centre-periphery science: Towards an ecology of knowledge. Centre for Global Higher Education working paper series.

    • XU, X (2020) “Impacts of COVID-19 pandemic on global research”, International Higher Education. 104 18-19.

    • Oancea, A, Xu, X (2017) Performance-based Research Funding. Oxford University Press (OUP).

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