Institute of Education


Us and them? Analysing the inclusion of foreign-born academics in British academia

24 October 2019, 12:30 pm–2:00 pm

Two women having a discussion in class

Dr Pustelnikovaite's presentation will demonstrate nuances underlying the influx of migrant academics into the UK, suggesting that patterns of inclusion shape migrant scholars’ working lives.

This event is free.

Event Information

Open to





CGHE Administrator


Room 804
UCL Institute of Education (IOE)
20 Bedford Way

The number of foreign academics in the UK has been increasing over the last forty years, and currently comprises a third of UK’s academic profession.

Existing research on migrant scholars tends to focus on international careers and analyse mobility as a resource for career development and progression. This seminar, however, seeks to understand how the academic profession has responded to the influx of migrant scholars.

Dr Pustelnikovaite draws on the concept of social closure in the sociology of professions, and on empirical data from 62 semi-structured interviews with foreign-born academics working in 13 British universities. Findings show that academia has developed three social closure strategies – integration, exclusion and subordination – to control the absorption of migrant academics. The profession enacts these strategies to subtly regulate access, work and intra-professional relationships, selectively incorporating foreign-born academics and maintaining the status quo.


About the Speaker

Toma Pustelnikovaite

Lecturer in Human Resource Management at Abertay University

Dr Pustelnikovaite completed her PhD in Management Studies at the University of St Andrews, with a thesis on the employment and inclusion of foreign-born academics in the UK. Her current research analyses diversity and internationalisation in academia, as well as the (un)sustainable working lives in contemporary organisations.