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Viva success by UNIKE PhD fellow Que Anh Dang

Congratulations to Dr. Dang.

2017.01.18 | Lisbeth Kristine Walakira

Que Anh Dang among friends in the celebrations after her viva.

Que And Dang together with her supervisors Professor Roger Dale and Professor Susan Robertson.

Cover of Que Anh Dang's PhD thesis.

On December 21 2016, Que Anh Dang successfully defended her PhD thesis at the University of Bristol. Her thesis entitled Asia-Europe Meeting (ASEM): Processes of Higher Education Sectoral Regionalism, engages with on-going debates over regionalism and higher education in the global knowledge economy. It sets out to explore, explain and conceptualise the processes and consequences of constructing a new ASEM inter-regional higher education sectoral space of 51 Asian and European countries in the last decade.

Through the ASEM case, Que Anh Dang's research project brings analytical focus to the regionalisation of higher education rather than subsuming it under the broader theme of internationalisation of higher education. She argues that sectoral regionalism works in a particular way with different purposes and outcomes. The ASEM education process has its own properties and it functions as both a specific context and a mechanism that influences regional identity formation in Asia and Europe, thus changing the dynamics of their relations.

The construction of an ASEM education space derives from matching and combining elements of Asian and European experiences and discourses and aims at enhancing economic, political and socio-cultural ties between Asia and Europe. Such outcomes have been pursued through the mobilisation of higher education as a kind of normative means and soft power. Particularly, the processes of interaction, the styles of persuasion, communication and mutual learning constitute a logic of appropriateness. The levels, categories, and types of appropriateness are set by actors themselves, together in the ASEM multi-level meetings and joint projects where regional actors behave according to shared norms and convention which in turn shape the outcomes.

The thesis provides new insights into higher education sectoral (inter)regionalism and opens up a broader explanation of 'soft' region-making mechanisms based on cultural and ideational factors. Such mechanisms contribute to and help shape strategic objectives of harnessing higher education for political-economic projects.

Que Anh Dang is keen to further research in future into the various forms of the practice of education diplomacy and development intervention in which education is utilised to cultivate multilateral, regional, bilateral cooperation and achieve mutual benefits toward context-specific goals.

PhD defence
Tags: UNIKE, Universities in the Knowledge Economy, Que Anh Dang, PhD viva, PhD defence
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Revised 17.05.2017