Jian Wu joined Keele as a lecturer in education in September 2023. Prior to joining Keele, Jian worked as a teaching associate/affiliated lecturer in the Faculty of Education, University of Cambridge, where he obtained his PhD in Sociology of Education under the supervision of Professor Susan L. Robertson. Before starting his PhD at Cambridge, Jian worked in the private sector for over a decade. Jian holds another PhD in Public Management from Renmin University of China, an MSc in Sociology from the University of Oxford and a BA in Economics from the American University of Paris.

Research and scholarship

My main research interests are:

  • Globalising Higher Education
  • Geopolitics and Education
  • Knowledge and Region Building
  • Politics of Knowledge Production
  • Critical Policy Analysis (Critical Discourse Analysis and Foucauldian Discourse Analysis)


I teach across both undergraduate and postgraduate education programmes.

Undergraduate Modules

  • Too Poor to Learn? Poverty, Education and Social Policy
    Postgraduate Module
  • Global Education Issues


I welcome supervision enquiries from Master’s and PhD students whose interests align with those of mine (see Research and Scholarship section). I am also interested in supervising dissertations with a methodological focus on ethnography or critical policy analysis.


Journal articles

  • Crisscrossing scapes in the global flow of elite mainland Chinese students, Higher Education, 2023. (with L. Wang)
  • New imperialisms in the making? The geo-political economy of transnational higher education mobility in the UK and China, Educational Philosophy and Theory, 2023. 10.1080/00131857.2023.2241627 (with S.L. Robertson)
  • What is the problem represented to be in China’s world-class university policy? A poststructural analysis, Journal of Education Policy, 38(4), pp. 644- 664, 2022. 10.1080/02680939.2022.2045038
  • Narrating the Belt and Road education policy: A critical policy discourse analysis. Higher Education Policy, 2022. 10.1057/s41307-022-00279-9
  • We are stuck in the middle: Intercultural adjustments and adaptations of Western-educated mainland Ph.D. students at one Hong Kong university, Asia Pacific Journal of Education, 2022. 10.1080/02188791.2022.2122023(with L. Wang)
  • China’s higher education governance during COVID: A mixed-methods study of policy analysis and student perspectives. Asian Education and Development Studies, 2021. 10(2), 295-307. 10.1108/AEDS-05-2020-0115 (with L. Lawrence)
    Book chapter
  • Understanding policymaking in an authoritarian state: An ontology-driven framework for analysing Chinese higher education policymaking. In J. Huisman & M. Tight (Eds.) Theory and Method in Higher Education Research (vol. 8, pp. 61-81), Emerald Publishing.

Other writings

  • Crisscrossing scapes in the global flow of elite mainland Chinese students. The Network for Research into Chinese Education Mobilities, 2023. (with L. Wang)
  • International student mobility in an era of globalising and neoliberlised higher education: contested landscapes of global flows. Unsettling Healthcare, 2023.

School of Social Sciences
Chancellor's Building CBA1.039
Keele University
Staffordshire, ST5 5BG
Tel: +44 (0) 1782 734346

Undergraduate and postgraduate enquiries
Tel: +44 (0) 1782 734346