Exploring the Unknown: Levinas and International Students in English Higher Education
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Coate, K. (2009) Exploring the Unknown: Levinas and International Students in English Higher Education. Journal of Education Policy. 24(3)
This article will start with a description of a small, pedagogic event: a snippet of conversation recorded in a classroom as part of a research project on working in groups with postgraduate students. I will use these few minutes of data to illustrate several of the arguments I wish to make about the policy of increased international student recruitment in English higher education. More specifically, the recorded conversation will act as a springboard into some reflections on the ways in which international students are positioned within the higher education system in England, in terms of policies, pedagogic practices and the research literature on international students. The argument will centre on the idea that English higher education institutions are on ethically dubious grounds in terms of their relations with international students, and that these flawed relations are reflected in pedagogical practices in the classroom. These reflections will draw from the writings of Levinas to explore the current failure of staff and students in sharing responsibility towards the experiences of the `other¿.