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Kexin is a Doctoral student in higher education at the Department of Education.

Kexin’s research interest lies in the global scientific system and the internationalisation of social sciences, with a special focus on international research collaborations and epistemic injustice.

Prior to her Doctoral study, Kexin obtained her M.Sc degree (Higher Education) with Distinction at the Department of Education, University of Oxford. In her master’s project, Kexin explored the patterns and dynamics in the China-UK collaborations in education research through bibliometric analysis and interviews. Under the supervision by Dr. Xin Xu, Kexin’s master study demonstrated the development trajectory, external and internal motivations, and the potential challenges in China-UK collaboration practices.

Kexin will further the master’s project in her doctoral studies under the supervision of Professor Simon Marginson and Professor Alis Oancea. She will investigate the internationalisation of social sciences in China and Europe through a comparative lens.

Elena Tsvetkova is a doctoral student in the Department of Education conducting research in the field of Higher Education. Elena is a recipient of the Hill Foundation Scholarship, and she works under the supervision of Professor Alis Oancea and Professor Simon Marginson.

Before joining the DPhil programme, she obtained a Specialist degree in Linguistics and Methods of Teaching Foreign Languages and Cultures (Hons) from Moscow State Linguistic University and an MA in Educational Leadership (Distinction) from the University of Manchester.

Currently, Elena’s research interests lie in the realm of educational policy and practice, in particular excellence initiatives and university rankings, academic work and teaching & learning in higher education.


Tsvetkova, E., & Lomer, S. (2019). Academic excellence as “competitiveness enhancement” in Russian higher education. International Journal of Comparative Education and Development.

Darta is a DPhil student pursuing research in the field of global higher education.

Darta has a diverse academic and professional background. She holds a 1st class BA(Hons) degree in Finance and Business and a MSc in Education (Leadership and Policy). She has strengthened her academic achievements through research assistantships as well as working in financial accounting. Her journey has developed a global perspective and instigated academic curiosity regarding university global engagement.

Darta is particularly interested in understanding global flows within higher education as well as addressing the gap in literature on what constitutes a global higher education institution. Darta’s research explores global universities as through the lenses of social space and social networks. Her approach will employ creative, grounded methods to understand the global imaginary.

Wanlin Cai is a DPhil student in higher education and a member of CGHE research group at the Department of Education.

Wanlin’s research interest lies in international higher education, higher education policies and economy, with a specific focus on World-Class Universities.

She is also a member of South China Global Talent Institute, Center for China and Globalisation, where she focuses on the research of talent policy and development in the Great Bay Area in China.

Prior to her beginning as a DPhil student, Wanlin read for the M.Sc in Higher Education at the University of Oxford and the M.Sc in Management and Enterprise Growth at the University of Glasgow.

McQueen is a Clarendon Scholar and is currently reading for a DPhil in Education at the University of Oxford. Her thesis focuses on the digital pedagogy responses of universities in East Asia to the COVID-19 outbreak. Her doctoral research is fully funded by the Clarendon and New College Scholarships.

McQueen is a member of the Centre for Global Higher Education. Her research interests include higher education, e-learning, and learning technologies. Her research interests are influenced by her experiences of working as an academic tutor at the University of Hong Kong and a researcher for Khan Academy and HarvardX (edX).

Prior to coming to Oxford, McQueen completed her master’s degree with a specialisation in media and learning technologies at Teachers College, Columbia University in the City of New York. She earned her bachelor’s degree in philosophy and international business at the University of Hong Kong with a full merit-based scholarship.

Antonin’s research is directed towards global regionalisms in higher education with a specific interest in transnational university alliances. He is currently investigating the pilot phases of the European Universities Initiative, as well as other regional higher education and research networks.

Antonin has just completed an MSc in Comparative and International Education at the department. Prior to joining Oxford, he coordinated international projects at the crossroads of education, culture and social action for various not-for-profit organizations based in France. He also obtained an MA in Film and Philosophy and a BA in Film Studies from King’s College London.



Since 1990, global science has expanded with exceptional dynamism and relations of power within it have shifted markedly.

Grass roots collaborative networks have become established as the main medium of development; Euro-American national science systems have become intensively networked as a global duopoly; and many middle-income countries have built their own national science systems. These include a group of countries that have followed a semi ‘stand-alone’ trajectory, establishing robust national systems based on government investment, national network building and selective international connections, without integrating tightly into the global duopoly. The stand-alone trajectory, which is nationally nuanced and does not comply with Euro-American patterns (and hence is not always understood in the literature on science) has been successfully pursued in all East Asian countries except Vietnam. China, which had almost no presence in global science forty years ago, is now number two science country, number one in areas of STEM physical sciences.

The seminar will investigate developments in China in funding, science paper output, the discipline balance, internationalisation strategy, and national and global networking, explaining how China has successfully combined global activity and local/national activity in positive sum fashion in a strongly nationally-nested science system. It will also discuss limits of the achievement, and note that while China-US relations have been instrumental in building science, a partial decoupling is in prospect.

About the speaker

Simon Marginson is Professor of Higher Education at the University of Oxford, Director of the ESRC/OFSRE Centre for Global Higher Education (CGHE), Editor-in-Chief of Higher Education, Professorial Associate of the Melbourne Centre for Study of Higher Education at the University of Melbourne, and Lead Researcher with Higher School of Economics in Moscow. CGHE is a research partnership of five UK and nine international universities with £9 million in funding for 16 projects on global, national and local aspects of higher education in 2015-2023.

Simon’s research is focused primarily on global and international higher education, higher education in East Asia, and higher education and social inequality. He is currently preparing an integrated theorisation of higher education. He Co-Chaired the UK Higher Education Commission Inquiry into Education Exports which reported in 2018. His most recent books are Changing Higher Education for a Changing World, edited with Claire Callender and William Locke (Bloomsbury, 2020) and High Participation Systems of Higher Education, edited with Brendan Cantwell and Anna Smolentseva (Oxford University Press, 2018).

Learn more about Simon here


This seminar will be of interest to: scholars and students of science, of China studies and of higher education and research; university professionals with responsibility for international relations and research; China and East Asia specialists.

In this webinar to launch the new book Changing Higher Education for a Changing World (Bloomsbury, 2020), with 17 chapters that draw on the outcomes of CGHE’s globally-focused research programmes, we discuss the book’s key themes and findings with its editors, CGHE’s Claire Callender, William Locke and Simon Marginson.

Changing Higher Education for a Changing World explores higher education in the major higher education regions including China, Europe, the UK and the USA. It sharply illuminates key issues of public and policy interest across the world. Do research universities make society more equal or more unequal? Are students graduating with too much debt? Who do we want to be attending universities? Will learning technologies will abolish the need for bricks-and-mortar higher education institutions? What can countries do to improve their scientific performance? How can comparative teaching assessment and research assessment become much more effective? These are among the issues explored in Changing Higher Education for a Changing World. Please join us to discuss this important new book.

Reviews for Changing Higher Education for a Changing World

“Breathtaking in its breadth – from public good in South African undergraduate education to the existential crisis in post-Brexit UK – this well-written volume presents the most recent scholarship emerging from the world’s leading centre for higher education research” – Glen Jones, Professor of Higher Education and Dean of the Ontario Institute for Studies in Education, University of Toronto, Canada

“A vivid snapshot of higher education development in a world during the surge of populism and before the pandemic. It serves extremely well as a timely awakening. Its themes, contents and contributing authors from the research team reminds us of the pressing need for our concerted efforts in defending further integration on a global scale.” – Rui Yang, Professor and Associate Dean of Education, University of Hong Kong, Hong Kong

“A thoughtful, data-driven and extraordinarily useful analysis of key themes shaping the global higher education landscape.” – Philip G. Altbach, Founding Director, Centre for International Higher Education, Boston College, USA

For further information on Changing Higher Education for a Changing World and to order a copy, please visit Bloomsbury’s website here.

About the authors

Claire Callender is Deputy Director of the Centre for Global Higher Education, and leads CGHE’s social and economic impact of higher education research programme.

William Locke is Professor and Director of the Centre for the Study of Higher Education, University of Melbourne, International Co-Investigator for CGHE (having been its Deputy Director 2015-19) and Joint Editor of Policy Reviews in Higher Education. His research interests include the governance and management of HEIs; the changing academic profession; HE policy and policy-making.

Simon Marginson is Professor of Higher Education at the University of Oxford, Director of the ESRC/OFSRE Centre for Global Higher Education (CGHE), Joint Editor-in-Chief of Higher Education, and Lead Researcher with Higher School of Economics in Moscow. Simon’s research is focused primarily on global and international higher education, the contributions of higher education and higher education as a public and common good, and higher education and social inequality. At Oxford he leads the MSc (Education) subject on ‘Global higher education’. His recent books include Higher Education in Federal Countries, edited with Martin Carnoy, Isak Froumin and Oleg Leshukov (Sage, 2018) and High Participation Systems of Higher Education, edited with Brendan Cantwell and Anna Smolentseva (Oxford University Press, 2018).