The University as Border Control

Lou Dear


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.


International education; international students; colonialism; neoliberalism

Full Text: