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Open access

An analysis of Chinese students’ use of Chinese essay references

Another role for international students in the internationalisation of the curriculum

Miguel Antonio Lim and Zhuo Min Huang

Many studies have addressed the needs and challenges of international students in their host countries; however, there is relatively less work on the potential contributions these students make to their curricula. This article presents a bibliographic analysis of the academic references (n=7,273) used by Chinese students to construct their final essays on the theme of education and international development at a leading global university based in the United Kingdom. It examines (1) what knowledge resources are used in their essays; and (2) what the characteristics and patterns of these choices are. When allowed to construct their own essays, Chinese students appear to choose to use a significant proportion of Chinese knowledge resources within English academic essays. This use increases when their lecturers and tutors explain and accept the value of non-English academic resources. This article then discusses the implications of this result for lecturers.

Open access

Beyond debt and equity

Dissecting the red herring and a path forward for normative critiques of finance

Aaron Z. Pitluck

A recurring theme in academic, moralizing, and religious discourses laments the individual and societal perils of debt and praises equity. Contemporary Islamic banking and finance is one conspicuous example. This article recontextualizes this conversation by demonstrating that since the 1980s financial practitioners have been interpreting debt and equity as increasingly illegible cognitive schemas that nonetheless retain their historical and moral connotations. This line of argumentation suggests that normatively contrasting debt and equity is a red herring—a literary device and theoretical construct that misleads and distracts from the fundamental discussion of what constitutes salubrious or odious finance. Little will change in social life if we seek to replace “debt” with “equity.” Rather, since all financial instruments describe social relationships, our conversation should turn to normatively proscribing the kinds of financial instruments that match our normative values for contractual relationships.

Open access

Andrea R. Olinger, Alexander Williams, and Davydd J. Greenwood

Barbara Bassot (2020), The Research Journal: A Reflective Tool for Your First Independent Research Project. Bristol: Policy Press, 188 pp., ISBN: 978-1-4473-5278-5

David J. Staley (2019), Alternative Universities: Speculative Design for Innovation in Higher Education. Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press, 268pp., ISBN: 978-1-4214-2741-6

Keyan G. Tomaselli (2021), Contemporary Campus Life: Transformation, Manic Managerialism and Academentia. Cape Town: Best Red, 245pp., ISBN: 978-1-928246-26-8

Open access

Bridging “green” asymmetries through crises

How a Chinese green bond has landed in Portugal

Giulia Dal Maso

The article examines the first Chinese green bond issued in Europe to explore how a green bond is created and how it can be issued across boundaries. Raising questions of “green” valuation at multiple scales, it follows the way the bond’s proceeds hit the ground in Portugal, refinancing wind farms previously built under a Feed in Tariff (FiT) regime. It shows how if on the one hand green bonds are designed as abstract and fungible instruments, then on the other they are spatially situated and predicated upon the larger dynamic of global financial accumulation with its recurrent and contingent crises. In this context, the rush over renewables intersects with expansive Chinese financial monetary policy and the EU austerity process.

Open access

Careers and climates

Becoming and being a climate finance practitioner

Aneil Tripathy

Climate finance has grown rapidly. What does this mean for people who construct careers in finance that leverage expertise to frame sustainability and climate change as investment decisions? What do their identities mean for the markets they create? This article examines how the careers of climate finance professionals impact them both as professionals and as people. I examine what climate action and impact mean in their decision-making. I find that practitioners interpret their careers around pivotal decisions that brought them into climate finance. This moralistic decision-making embedded in practitioner biographies highlights the effect of a particular ethical field in climate finance. In producing climate finance instruments through performative and data work, people transform into climate finance professionals.

Restricted access

Irida Tsevreni

This article investigates the potential of contemplative learning through mindfulness in the framework of environmental education. Human alienation from the rest of nature and the separation from the more-than-human others are approached under the lens of eco-phenomenology. Fifty undergraduate students at a Pedagogical Department experienced mindfulness techniques in natural places and reflected on their experiences. The research results revealed that mindfulness contributed to the sensorial and embodied experience of nature as well as to their interaction and participation in the more-than-human world. However, difficulties and challenges also emerged. Contemplative environmental learning could contribute to the healing of human alienation from the rest of nature and the establishment of an embodied, sensorial empathy for all living creatures.

Full access

The Coronavirus as Nature-Culture

Talking about Agency

Annette Schnabel and Bettina Ülpenich

We analyze how the coronavirus is fabricated at the interface between science and the public in order to be addressable by political strategies. By means of a content analysis of Christian Drosten’s podcasts, we follow (1) how SARS-CoV-2 is constructed in order to be understood by non-scientists, (2) how the specialist becomes a public expert, and (3) how this co-fabrication takes place. This provides insight into the “fabrication” of meaning and of how uncertainty is transformed into knowledge during times of major risk through focusing on the perception of the virus itself. Out of a perspective of speech act theory-informed assemblage thinking, the analysis emphasizes the role of the known-unknown and of the temporality of developments in formatting both virus and expert.

Open access

A culture of informality?

Fragmented solidarities among construction workers in Nepal

Dan V. Hirslund

Despite a history of labor militancy in past decades, Nepal’s large construction sector remains unorganized and lacks social protection, prompted by high levels of informality. Based on ethnographic fieldwork among construction laborers in Kathmandu, this article argues that labor subsumption to capital in the construction industry takes place through a systemization of expertise through which access to work is negotiated. I show how this “culture of informality” shapes labor relations and creates a semblance of transparency and justice in otherwise chaotic and fiercely competitive labor communities. Drawing on concepts from political and urban anthropology to probe how informality indexes forms of power, I argue that authority and status become distributed through processes of distinction and thereby extend and deepen inequalities permeating contemporary industrial relations.

Restricted access

Jodie Asselin, Gabriel Asselin, and Flavia Egli

The term forest can signify many different physical realities. However, discourse analysis of Irish National and European Union forestry-related documents indicates ambiguity around this term is often cultivated rather than clarified. We argue here that policy language often embraces the multiple potential affordances within the term forest as a means of discursively bridging contradictions between economic and conservation goals. While this technique increases the readability and acceptability of such documents by diverse user groups and government bodies, it mutes the on-the-ground tensions of what forests mean for locals. Moreover, cultivating ambiguity favors the status quo through circumventing points of contradiction and shifting the work of interpretation and application of such documents to those on-the-ground, therefore perpetuating existing power differentials. As forests are central to resource management and responses to climate change, addressing this tendency is crucial to finding meaningful and place-specific environmental solutions.

Free access

Penny Welch and Susan Wright

In this issue of Learning and Teaching: The International Journal of Higher Education in the Social Sciences, authors from the United Kingdom, Peru and Australia report on empirical research carried out with students or academics. Two of the articles are about the internationalisation of higher education, a theme this journal has covered quite extensively in the past. The other two articles concern the use of digital tools for teaching remotely and the design of a course unit to promote a sense of community amongst first-year undergraduates.