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Meet Professor Cora Lingling Xu

Cora Lingling Xu is Associate Professor in the School of Education and Programme Director for MA Intercultural Communication and Education (ICE).

Professor Cora Lingling Xu, School of Education
Professor Cora Lingling Xu, School of Education
Tell us about your role within the School of Education

I conduct and publish world-leading research on educational mobilities and social inequalities, direct the MA Intercultural Communication and Education (ICE) programme, convene master’s and undergraduate modules in international education, and supervise doctoral theses. I am also the School of Education’s Research Environment Coordinator (2022-23).

Tell us about your research interests within the School of Education

My research examines how the intersection of class, gender, ethnicity, rural-urban divides, time, and geopolitics can shape social agents’ educational and life trajectories. I draw heavily on social theories to inform her empirical research, including Bourdieu’s theory of practice, sociology of time, diaspora and diaspora at home. My geographical focuses include China (mainland China, Hong Kong), the UK, and the Asia-Pacific. My 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.

What can students expect from their first few weeks in the School of Education?

The MA ICE programme is proud for being a vibrant international community. In the first few weeks of the programme, you will participate in a range of welcome-week orientation activities. You will get to know more about the programme team and your fellow classmates through exciting ice-breaking activities, city walks and group chats. This also involves taking part in School-wide research seminars and lectures given by world-renowned scholars, and doctoral students. You will begin to develop a personalised calendar and be challenged to set ambitious but achievable goals for the rest of the academic year and beyond. Most importantly, you will begin to foster friendships and potential collaborations that can last for a lifetime!

What do you think makes the School of Education unique?

The School of Education at Durham has been ranked No1 in the 2021 Research Excellence Framework for our academic outputs and high-quality research. We are proud of and make excellent use of our research-led teaching. Our students get to learn from some of the greatest minds in the world of educational research. The MA ICE programme is unique in its small-group teaching, in-depth and critical discussion fostered among the students, and its closely-knit and supportive community.

What advice would you give someone thinking of studying in the School of Education?

Be ready to open your mind to a world of exciting possibilities, challenges, and difficult questions. Embrace the diversity and vibrancy that this community is going to offer you. Become an active player in your studies and in your community. Get ready to bring home life-long friendships and world-changing ambitions.

What have your students gone on to do after graduating from Durham?

Our MA ICE graduates have gone on to thrive in a wide range of educational and non-governmental sectors, shouldering important transformative responsibilities across the globe. 

To give you some examples:

  • Our graduates have won prestigious doctoral scholarships to pursue cutting-edge research in some of the world’s most highly ranked universities
  • Some have become international school headteachers and teachers in different parts of the world
  • Some have won competitive places as management trainees
  • Some have become consultants in non-for-profit organisations and cross-national charities

Find out more

  • Cora Lingling Xu, is Associate Professor in the School of Education and Programme Director for MA Intercultural Communication and Education (ICE). If you would like to find out more about Cora, visit her profile.
  • We are one of the leading Schools of Education in the UK and ranked in the top 100 in the QS World University Rankings by Subject 2022. Feeling inspired? Visit our School of Education webpages to find out more about studying with us.
  • We aim to expand the frontiers of educational knowledge and to inspire our students to become the future architects of an equitable and sustainable world. Our students go on to successful careers in a wide range of different sectors.
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