In a neoliberal era marked by a global expansion of higher education, many Western based universities aggressively opened EMI satellite campuses in Asia and the Middle East. Inspired by profit and the need to chase the foreign tuition dollar, such expansionary efforts have met with different degrees of success. However, as world economic growth starts to recede and nationalist sentiments rise, we have witnessed a curtailing, and in some cases withdrawal, of these transnational endeavours. Adopting an ecological approach to better understand this educational phenomenon, I investigate how English monolingual biases and an emergent interest and pride in local languages within several countries that have hosted joint venture foreign campuses have been negotiated. Specifically, I explore the ways in which different social actors – students, faculty and administrators – engage in complex identity work that often results in individuals being sorted and sieved according to the various levels of capital that they possess. These actors’ strategic policy and pedagogical decisions will also be unpacked against mounting internal pressures by governments to raise the standards of local universities in the face of stiff global university ranking competition.
Peter I. De Costa is an Associate Professor in the Department of Linguistics, Languages & Cultures and the Department of Teacher Education at Michigan State University. As a critical applied linguist, his research areas include emotions, identity, ideology and ethics in language learning, language teaching, and language policy. His ecologically- and social justice-oriented work looks at the intersection between second language acquisition (SLA), second language teacher education (SLTE), and language policy. He is the co-editor of TESOL Quarterly and the President Elect of the American Association for Applied Linguistics (AAAL).