The University as Border Control


  • Lou Dear University of Glasgow


International education, international students, colonialism, neoliberalism


This article outlines the manifestations of state border control in British universities. Bordering practices in universities include, monitoring international students in classrooms on behalf of the government (through the Tier 4 visa regime) and Prevent legislation (the controversial statutory obligation to monitor students for signs of extremism and radicalisation). Prevent has been characterised as thought-policing and has implications for freedom of thought, expression and assembly. Monitoring of this kind reproduces and extends institutionalised racism in universities. The article considers the implications of border control for international education, educational rights and pedagogies. The proposition of the university as border control is situated here in a context of historic institutional entanglement with empire and capital. It examines the British system with a view to beginning comparative analysis of international educational systems and their imbrication with state border control.

Author Biography

Lou Dear, University of Glasgow

Lou Dear is a doctoral candidate at the University of Glasgow. Research interests include: the politics of education; colonialism and education; decolonisation; postcolonial literature and theory. Lou has published peer reviewed research in the Open Library of the Humanities, and has several book chapters forthcoming in collections published my Routledge and Palgrave Macmillan.






Vol 17(1) Special Edition