Department of Education

Xin Xu

Research Fellow

College Affiliation: Kellogg College

Xin (许心) is a Research Fellow at the Centre for Global Higher Education, Department of Education, and a Junior Research Fellow at Kellogg College, University of Oxford.

She has strong research interests in the internationalisation and globalisation of higher education and academic research.

Xin completed her DPhil in Education at the department as a Clarendon Scholar. Her doctoral research investigated the internationalisation and evaluation of humanities and social sciences research, with a focus on the influences of incentives for international publications in Chinese higher education. The thesis won the 2020 Emerald/HETL Outstanding Doctoral Research Award and the CIES 2020 Globalization & Education SIG Dissertation Award.

Previously, she completed a BA in English Language and Literature at Tsinghua University (First-Class Honours, one-year exchange at Heidelberg University), and received her MA degree in Higher Education at Peking University (Distinction).

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



  • Subjects Taught

    DPhil in Education

    MSc Education (HE)


  • Book chapters

    • 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.

  • Journal articles

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

    • 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.

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

    • 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.

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

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

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

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

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