‘Cultural trauma and the politics of access to higher education in Syria’. By Zeina Al Azmeh, Joanne Dillabough, Olena Fimyar, Colleen McLaughlin, Shaher Abdullateef, Wissam Aldien Aloklah, Adnan Rashid Mamo, Abdul Hafiz Abdulhafiz, Samir Al Abdullah, Yasser Al Husien, Ammar Al Mohamad Al Ibrahim, Ziad Al Ibrahim, Taiseer Barmu, Abdulnasser Farzat & Bakry Kadan

This paper examines the relationship between the politics of Higher Education access pertaining to longstanding practices of patrimonial authoritarian politics and the narration of collective trauma. Building on an empirical study of Syrian HE during war, we suggest that a narrative disjuncture within HEIs has a damaging impact not only upon the educational process, HE reconstruction and reform, but also upon the possibility of social reconciliation.

‘Conflict, insecurity and the political economies of higher education: The case of Syria post-2011’. By Jo-Anne Dillabough, Olena Fimyar, Colleen McLaughlin, Zeina Al-Azmeh, Shaher Abdullateef & Musallam Abedtalas.

This paper stems from a 12-month collaborative enquiry between a group of Syrian academics in exile in Turkey and academics from the University of Cambridge into the state of Syrian Higher Education after the onset of the conflict in 2011. The purpose of this paper is to draw on 19 open-ended interviews with exiled Syrian academics; two focus groups; mapping and timeline exercises; and 117 interviews collected remotely by collaborating Syrian academics with former colleagues and students who were still living inside Syria at the time of data collection.

‘Diversity without Race’. By Elizabeth Buckner, Punita Lumb, Zahra Jafarova, Phoebe Kang, Adriana Marroquin and You Zhang

This article examines how a sample of 62 higher education institutions in Canada, the United States and the United Kingdom discuss international students in their official institutionalization strategies, focusing on how ideas of race and diversity are addressed. We find that institutional strategies connect international students to an abstract notion of diversity, using visual images to portray campus environments as inclusive of racial, ethnic and religious diversity.

Publication: Provincializing the OECD-PISA global competences project

In 2018 the OECD added a set of global competence measures to its PISA programme, and reported on the outcomes in November 2020. In this paper I explore the provenance of the idea of global competence underpinning the OECD-PISA Global Competence framework and measure. The official account by the OECD references the OECD PISA Governing Board, Expert Panels, National Teams and Consortia engaged in the creation and delivery of this assessment tool. However, in this paper I problematise this narrative and sketch out an alternate genealogy that seems to operate in the shadowlands of the official account.