PhD Studentship: ASEM meetings and HE ‘policy travel’ from Europe to Asia

Faculty of Social Sciences and Law

The studentship is part of the Universities in the Knowledge Economy (UNIKE) project ‘What are the changing roles and scope of universities in emerging global knowledge economies and regions?’ and is based at the University of Bristol under the supervision of Professor Roger Dale.


To advance understanding of processes of trans-regional policy transfer by exploring ASEM meetings as a forum for discussing and extending the Bologna Process.


The European Union (EU) seeks to export the model of the Bologna Process to Asia. The main interregional forum for such policy development between the EU and the Association of South East Asian Nations (ASEAN) is the Asia-Europe Meeting (ASEM). Emphasising that ASEM is a forum for dialogue and open exchange, the EU presents the Bologna Process, not as a ready-made model for transfer to Asia, but as a work-in-progress in Europe whose relevance to Asia is up for discussion. ASEM countries participate in ASEM working groups on the Bologna Process’ agenda, but each is interested in particular aspects and it is not clear what ideas they take home and how they re-contextualise these ideas on higher education reform in their national settings.

Specific skills and aptitudes

Applicants are required to produce evidence of a strong background in the social sciences and/or comparative education, and be well grounded in social theories related to internationalisation and globalisation. Besides strong communication skills in English, the ability to communicate orally and in writing in other European and Asian languages would be a major asset.

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Secondment and research visits

3-4 month secondment to the Sino-Danish Centre in Beijing if the applicant chooses China as a case study. Research visits to ACA, a member of the Advisory Committee of the ASEM Education Hub, to study the contributions of think tank/consultancy to EU higher education policy-making with 3rd countries. and/or APRU, the Association of Pacific Rim Universities, many of whose members participate in ASEM.

Contacts for further information

For questions about the project contact Professor Roger Dale, (e-mail:; for questions about living and studying in Bristol please consult

Application Process

For a full project description and details of how to apply visit The application deadline is Sunday 3rd February at 17:00.

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