This panel seeks to explore trends, changes, and reforms in higher education sectors outside the traditional centres of transnational academic hierarchies, and our own movement and roles as anthropologists in various capacities along these hierarchies.
An increasing body of work addresses the ongoing 'corporatisation' and 'commodification' of universities, and higher education sector reforms more broadly. Mostly, however, this work refers to contexts that may be considered as the traditional centres for models of higher education, and home to the world's leading and most prestigious universities. We seek to bring together work relating to contemporary trends and changes in higher education from the perspective of more 'peripheral' locations in the global university landscape, including our own movement as anthropologists between these locations. We ask, preferably ethnographically:
• How are recent trends in higher education in, for example, the US, Europe, or Australia, experienced and responded to in higher education sectors elsewhere?
• How is the translation of putatively global trends, emanating from the world's traditional academic powerhouses, into local sector reforms challenged and resisted, or perhaps met with alternative trajectories altogether?
• How does the legacy of colonialism, and potentially lasting links of bilateral cooperation or political antagonism, make itself visible in contemporary changes in higher education sectors and the day to day of academic activities in post-colonial settings?
• What are our own roles or experiences as anthropologists moving between such different settings, be that as ethnographic fieldworkers, scholars, research students, or academic consultants?
• What is our own predicament in the global flow of academic labour along such lines, including in terms of navigating a potentially fraught relation between building a personal academic career and inadvertently reinforcing imperial hierarchies of academic practice and knowledge production?