Jenna Mittelmeier


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Personal profile


I am a Senior Lecturer in International Education at the Manchester Institute of Education, where my research focuses broadly on the internationalisation of higher education. I am particularly interested in practices with international students and their treatment within their universities and host societies. Within that, my work looks at how higher education curricula and pedagogies are shaped by internationalisation and through teaching international students. My research takes a critical perspective against pervasive deficit narratives of international students, reflecting on issues of power, privilege, and ethics in intercultural classrooms.

Much of my recent work considers how to develop better research practices which centre international students as co-researchers or participants. For example, I am the leading co-editor for the recently published book Research with International Students: Critical Conceptual and Methodological Considerations (available open access here). Our Research with International Students website also provides a wide range of methodological resources for this subfield. 

Research interests

My research interests are centred broadly on the internationalisation of higher education and treatment of international students. However, my specific projects are varied and I approach my work through an interdisciplinary lens, as an education scholar who has previously studied or worked in disciplines such as sociology and human geography. 

My research interests include:

  • The impacts of internationalisation broadly on higher education
  • Experiences and treatment of international students in higher education 
  • Interculturally inclusive pedagogies and curricula in university classrooms
  • Structural inequalities in practices with international students 
  • Internationalisation at a distance via online and distance technologies 
  • Intersections of internationalisation and spatialities within campuses

My research is informed through practice, as I started my career in an international student services office. I also identify as a migrant scholar and former international student, which shapes my lens towards this topic. 


I am presently the Associate Director for PhD Training in the School of Environment, Education, and Development (SEED). A significant proportion of my teaching contributions is in developing researcher development training for PhD researchers across our school's five departments. 

I also contribute to the MA International Education programme, where I am the pathway leader for our Curriculum and Pedagogy pathway. I am course leader on this programme for the EDUC70732 unit: Internationalising the Curriculum.

I am very interested in staff development for working in international and intercultural teaching contexts. I co-lead with Sylvie Lomer the EDUC63241 course unit (Internationalisation of Higher Education) on our PGCert in Higher Education programme. I also regularly work with departments around the country and internationally to develop bespoke training for their staff for working with international students. 

Supervision information

Inquiries from prospective PhD researchers:
I am on sabbatical (research leave) for the 2024-2025 academic year and unable to accept new PhD supervisees until autumn 2025. I am happy to read research proposals from prospective PhD researchers who wish to start their PhD after this date. 

I supervise projects related to the internationalisation of higher education and international students. I encourage potential PhD researchers to review our Research with International Students website and recently published book when developing their proposals. Please note that I only supervise projects which are critical in scope and purposefully seek to reject deficit narratives of international students. 

I currently supervise the following PhD colleagues:

  • Xiaolin Ma: "Class background and Chinese students' international communities of practice in the UK"
  • Yilan Guo: "The social practice of silence in Chinese international students' multicultural group work experiences in the UK"
  • Daian Huang: "Internationalisation abroad and at a distance: Comparing the transition experiences of international students studying at UK higher education institutions"
  • Luman Zhou: "Chinese international postgraduate students' conceptualisations of critical thinking and academic identity through dissertation writing"
  • Bowen Zhang: "The influence of Sino-Western exchange on the internationalisation of Chinese higher education"

My completed supervisees include:

  • Dr Ying Yang: "The role of education agents in the marketised international higher education sector"
  • Dr Bukola Oyinloye: "Parents' perspectives and practices around the schooling of their children in rural Northern Nigeria"

Expertise related to UN Sustainable Development Goals

In 2015, UN member states agreed to 17 global Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to end poverty, protect the planet and ensure prosperity for all. This person’s work contributes towards the following SDG(s):

  • SDG 4 - Quality Education
  • SDG 10 - Reduced Inequalities

Education/Academic qualification

Doctor of Philosophy, Education and Educational Technology, The Open University

Award Date: 1 Nov 2017

Master of Arts, Global and International Studies, The University of Kansas

Award Date: 18 May 2014

Bachelor of Education, The University of Kansas

Award Date: 15 May 2011

External positions

Research in Context Editor, Journal of International Students


Education Pathway Lead, North West Social Science Doctoral Training Partnership


External PhD Supervisor, The Open University


Areas of expertise

  • LB2300 Higher Education
  • international education
  • curriculum internationalisation
  • international students
  • internationalisation

Research Beacons, Institutes and Platforms

  • Manchester China Institute
  • Global inequalities


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