The connection between cultural diplomacy and internationalization of higher education has drawn researchers’ interest and been discussed as an emerging phenomenon in studies in international education. Owing to the rise of China, a considerable number of studies have investigated China’s cultural diplomacy by examining its “internationalisation abroad” initiatives in higher education. Nevertheless, while most of the studies considered higher education internationalisation as a way to project national image and pursue national interests, the Chinese leadership often emphasised the ideas of peaceful rise and harmonious society in its foreign policy discourse. Such a narrative of harmony and related concepts, such as openness and inclusiveness, are emphasised and reiterated in China’s Belt and Road Initiative, in which academic exchange and cooperation are regarded as important instruments of international engagement. This study is set within this context to investigate the educational aspect of the initiative, an important strategic agenda of China, by conducting a case study on leading universities in Kazakhstan. The research adopts an embedded, multiple case study design involving university leaders and academics, and examines how their engagements with Belt and Road-related frameworks and activities shed light on the intersection between cultural diplomacy and higher education. Copyright © 2018 CDRI- Cambodia Development Resource Institute.
|Publication status||Published - May 2018|