Degree completed in 2021.

Cityzenship: a study of transnational Chinese student returnees in three megacities in mainland China

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I am a human geographer and hold a PhD from the University of Oxford, where my doctoral research sits at the boundary between transnational education migration, urban inclusiveness and equality and social reproduction in China. This thesis makes a significant contribution to migration studies, urban studies, citizenship studies and the poststructuralist analysis of space and place. In addition to a book-route doctoral thesis, I also wrote three single-authored papers, two of which are under review. These papers contribute to the literature by engaging the discussion of Chinese students' migration with the scholarship on the topology of transnational education space, spatialised lifecourse, social reproduction, mobilities, and production of space. I have an interdisciplinary research background, and conduct both qualitative and quantitative research and ethnographic fieldwork.


  • Conference Session Convenor, The Royal Geographical Society (with IBG) Annual Conference, London, 2019.
  • Initiated and chaired Transnational Student Migration session at RGS-IBG 2019.
  • Motivated six presenters and more than 30 academics from different universities across the world to join the session The Royal Geographical Society (with IBG) Annual Conference, Cardiff, 2018.
  • Presentation: 'City'zenship of Chinese Overseas Student-returnees.
  • Peer reviewer for journals Geoforum, Transactions of the Institute of British Geographers, and Social Science & Medicine.

Current Research

Current Teaching

Recent Publications

  • Wang, Z. (2021). Cityzenship: a study of transnational Chinese student returnees in three megacities in mainland China. PhD thesis. University of Oxford.
  • Waters, J. and Wang, Z. (forthcoming) Book Chapter: Families in educational migration: strategies, relations and emotional investments.
  • Wang, Z. (in peer-review) Transnational Education Space as A 'Stepping-stone': Exploring Adulthood Transition of Transnational Chinese Students in UK universities. Population, Space and Place.
  • Wang, Z. (in peer-review) Inflation of UK Masters Degrees? Evaluation of One-year UK Postgraduate Taught Programmes by International Chinese Middle-class Students. Globalisation, Societies and Education.
  • Wang, Z. (in progress) Continuity of Transnational Education Space: Using Bourdieu's Habitus Theory and Lefebvre's Theory on Space to Analyse the Production of Transnational Education Space.
  • Wang, Z (in progress) Governments, discourses and spatialities of transnational education: Why We Need Deleuze's Assemblage Theory in Investigating the Topology of Transnational Education. Blog post.
  • Wang (2018) 'Non-traditional' International Mainland Chinese Students in the UK: An Exploratory Study of Factors Influencing Their Choice of International Higher Education. The Network for Research into Chinese Education Mobilities (NRCEM).