|Associate Professor in the School of Education||CB2014|
Cora is a sociologist interested in issues related to education mobilities and social inequalities. Her research examines how the intersection of class, gender, ethnicity, rural-urban divides, time, and geopolitics can shape social agents’ educational and life trajectories. Cora draws heavily on social theories to inform her empirical research, including Bourdieu’s theory of practice, sociology of time, diaspora and diaspora at home. Cora’s geographical focuses include China (mainland China, Hong Kong), the UK, and the Asia-Pacific. Cora's research on Chinese international students in the UK has been featured in BBC Radio 4's documentary 'Chinese on Campus', on BBC News, on Jiemian News and Ms-Muses (缪斯夫人). Listen to this interview with The Migration Podcast about Cora's research details.
Cora is an Executive Editor of the British Journal of Sociology of Education and serves as an Associate Editor of the Journal of International Students. She is an editorial board member of multiple high impact journals and a top peer reviewer for more than 30 international journals.
Cora’s research has been funded by the British Sociological Association, The Sociological Review Foundation, the ESRC Methods North West, The National Social Science Fund of China, Monash University Malaysia, and the Cambridge International Trust.
Cora is founder and director of Network for Research into Chinese Education Mobilities (NRCEM). The NRCEM is a cross-disciplinary network that attracts more than 500 members from across Europe, Asia, Australia and North America. The website has on average 2,000 monthly hits. Its ‘Research Highlights’ section has featured more than 100 original submissions of latest publications and research projects. This network has become an important outlet for global scholars to disseminate cutting-edge research on all aspects of Chinese education mobilities. Visit the Network's Youtube channel and listen to the Podcast series ‘Meet the Author‘ and ‘Lived Experiences‘ that Cora has curated.
Cora received her PhD in Sociology of Education from the University of Cambridge in 2016, as a Cambridge Trust scholar. She obtained her MA from King’s College London as a British Chevening scholar and her Bachelor’s from the Education University of Hong Kong as an Outstanding Mainland scholar. A qualified teacher, she taught English as a second language for five years in two Hong Kong secondary schools.
A Fellow of the Advance HE (FHEA), at Durham, Cora is programme director of MA Intercultural Communication and Education (ICE). She convenes modules on the BA Education Studies and MA programmes; Cora also supervises Master's and doctoral dissertations. Cora is an active member of the Durham BAME Network and serves as a meber of Durham's Respect Oversight Group with an aim to striving for great equality and diversity. Before joining Durham University, Cora worked at Keele University as Lecturer in Education (Assistant Professor) between 2016 and 2020.
Cora is enthusiastic about career education of postgraduate (especially doctoral) researchers. Since January 2021, Cora has established her Youtube and Bilibili channels to share advice on academic writing, publication and job searches. Cora is also a fervent believer in community writing. This has been shaped by her experiences in organising various Writing Groups at the University of Cambridge and Keele University. She currently co-convenes Durham University Writing Group.
Information for Prospective Doctoral Research Student Supervisions
Cora is interested to work with students on areas of inquiry related to rural-urban inequalities, ethnic minority experiences, international student and academic mobilities, transnational institutional and knowledge mobilities. She is keen to explore opportunities facilitated by creative and qualitative research methods. She would be pleased to investigate how social theories can inform such empirical research.
- Sociology of time
- Diaspora & Diaspora at home
- China studies
- Rural-urban inequalities
- Ethnic minority experience
- International student mobility (ISM)
- Academic mobilities
- Hong Kong studies
- Study-to-work transition
- 0000: A. External Examiner and Grant Reviewer Roles:
External PhD examiner: ;University of Edinburgh, University of Bristol, University of York, UK and University of New South Wales, Australia
External grant reviewer: Education University of Hong Kong and Hong Kong Baptist University
External examiner: BSc Education, University of Manchester (2022-2025); MA Education, Policy and Society, King's College London (2021-2025); ;MA Education programme, ;University of Northampton (2019-2023)
- 0000: B. Editorship & Editorial Board Membership:
Executive Editor: ;British Journal of Sociology of Education
Associate Editor: ;Journal of International Students
Editorial Board Member: ;Cambridge Journal of Education; International Studies in Sociology of Education; International Journal of Comparative Education and Development, ;Beijing International Review of Education; ;Polish Journal of Educational Studies.
- 0000: C. External Awards:
2018 British Journal of Sociology of Education Best Early Career Article 2017: shortlisted
2013 ;Best Paper Award (Emerging Researchers) Prize and Conference Bursary, European Conference of Educational Research
- 0000: D. Invited Keynotes and Talks: 2018 Keynote Speech on ‘A Typology of Contemporary Chinese Higher Education Mobilities and Belt and Road Initiative’, Manchester Institute of Education, University of Manchester, 8 November.
2022 Public lecture on 'The portrayal of Chinese international students: A critical review', The Manchester China Institute, University of Manchester, 3 March. Watch the full length lecture, section on my post-colonial approach, section on the neoliberal subject positioning. ;
2021 Workshop on 'Academic Writing Groups', East China Normal University Review of Education, China, 23 November. ;
2021 Paper on ‘Career imagination, transnational distinction, and family-mediated migration infrastructure: Chinese international students to the UK’ at Webminar on ‘International student mobility’ organised by Education University of Hong Kong, 8 November.
2021 Lecture on Chinese Higher Education Mobilities at Cambridge Chinese Education Forum, University of Cambridge, 19 June.
2021 Workshop on ‘Getting an academic job in the UK as an international student’ at Department of Education, University of Oxford, 11 June.
2021 Distinguished Panel on ‘Global Mobility’, Graduate Forum, Ontario Institute of Education Studies, University of Toronto, Canada, 15 May.
2021 Graduate Lecture on ‘The making of transnational distinction: Chinese women international students’ mobility to the UK’, Ontario Institute of Education Studies, University of Toronto, Canada, 7 April.
2021 Graduate Lecture on ‘Cross-border student mobilities in contemporary China’, Old Dominion University, USA, 3 March.
Available for media contact about:
- Education: international student mobility
- Subject specialists: international student mobility
- Asia (excluding Middle East): international student mobility
- Social and ethical inequality: international student mobility
- Sociology: international student mobility
- Xu, Cora Lingling (2020). ‘Marginal’ student mobilities: Cruel promise, everyday mobile belonging and emotional geographies. British Journal of Sociology of Education 41(5): 750-754.
- Xu, Cora Lingling (2017). Chinese student migration, gender and family, Anni Kajanus (2015). Transitions: Journal of Transient Migration 1(1): 139-141.
- Xu, Cora Lingling (2016). Constructing modern Asian citizenship. Comparative Education 52(4): 564-565.
- Xu, Cora Lingling & Ma, Yin (2023). Geography-mediated institutionalised cultural capital: Regional inequalities in graduate employment. Journal of Education and Work 36(1): 22-36.
- Yang, Miaoyan. & Xu, Cora Lingling. (2022). Getting Ahead While Retaining Ethnic Salience: Educational Mobilities, Class, and Empowerment of a Tibetan Student in China. Asia Pacific Journal of Education 42(2): 335-349.
- Xu, Cora Lingling (2022). Portraying the ‘Chinese international students’ A review of English-language and Chinese-language literature on Chinese international students (2015-2020). Asia Pacific Education Review 23(1): 151-167.
- Hu, Yang, Xu, Cora Lingling & Tu, Mengwei (2022). Family-mediated migration infrastructure: Chinese international students and parents navigating (im)mobilities during the COVID-19 pandemic. Chinese Sociological Review 54(1): 62-87.
- Li, Jia, Ai, Bin & Xu, Cora Lingling (2022). Examining Burmese students’ multilingual practices and identity positionings at a border high school in China. Ethnicities 22(2): 233-252.
- Xu, Cora Lingling (2021). Time, class and privilege in career imagination: Exploring study-to-work transition of Chinese international students in UK universities through a Bourdieusian lens. Time & Society 30(1): 5-29.
- Zhang, Siqi & Xu, Cora Lingling (2020). The Making of Transnational Distinction: An Embodied Cultural Capital Perspective on Chinese Women Students’ Mobility. British Journal of Sociology of Education 41(8): 1251-1267.
- Xu, Cora Lingling (2020). Tackling rural-urban inequalities through educational mobilities: rural-origin Chinese academics from impoverished backgrounds navigating higher education. Policy Reviews in Higher Education 4(2): 179-202.
- Xu, Cora Lingling (2020). ‘Diaspora at home’ class and politics in the navigation of Hong Kong students in Mainland China’s Universities. International Studies in Sociology of Education
- Xu, Cora Lingling & Yang, Miaoyan (2019). Ethnicity, temporality and educational mobilities: comparing the ethnic identity constructions of Mongolian and Tibetan students in China. British Journal of Sociology of Education 40(5): 631-646.
- Xu, Cora Lingling & Montgomery, Catherine (2019). Educating China on the Move: A Typology of Contemporary Chinese Higher Education Mobilities. Review of Education 7(3): 598-627.
- Xu, Cora Lingling (2018). Political habitus in cross-border student migration: a longitudinal study of mainland Chinese students in Hong Kong and beyond. International Studies in Sociology of Education 27(2-3): 255-270.
- Xu, Cora Lingling (2018). Transborder habitus in a within-country mobility context: A Bourdieusian analysis of mainland Chinese students in Hong Kong. The Sociological Review 66(6): 1128-1144.
- Xu, Cora Lingling (2017). Mainland Chinese students at an elite Hong Kong university: habitus–field disjuncture in a transborder context. British Journal of Sociology of Education 38(5): 610-624.
- Xu, Cora Lingling (2015). When the Hong Kong Dream Meets the Anti-Mainlandisation Discourse: Mainland Chinese Students in Hong Kong. Journal of Current Chinese Affairs 44(3): 5-47.
- Xu, Cora Lingling (2015). Identity and cross-border student mobility: The mainland China–Hong Kong experience. European Educational Research Journal 14(1): 65-73.