Academic Profile

Johanna joined the School of Geography and the Environment in 2013, jointly appointed by the Department for Continuing Education. Johanna graduated from the University of Oxford (Jesus College), with a First Class (hons.) degree in Geography. She was then awarded a Canadian Rhodes Scholars Foundation Scholarship and went to the University of British Columbia, Canada, where she completed her MA and PhD. During her time at UBC she was awarded an Izaak Walton Killam Memorial Pre-Doctoral Fellowship. In January 2004, Johanna took up the post of Lecturer in Human Geography at the Department of Geography, University of Liverpool. She remained at Liverpool until December 2010, when she was appointed to Senior Lecturer in the School of Geography, Earth and Environmental Sciences at the University of Birmingham. She moved to Oxford in June 2013. Johanna is from Swansea, South Wales and currently lives in South Warwickshire with her partner and three young children.

Current Research

Johanna's research interests include international and transnational migration, young people and international higher education, and educational mobilities. She is particularly interested in understanding the ways in which experiences of (higher) education and subsequent employment are being transformed through internationalisation, and the relationship to (im)mobilities. She has recently completed a number of projects in this vein, including one with Rachel Brooks (University of Surrey) on British international students (British Academy, LRG-45489), and with Maggi Leung (Utrecht University) on transnational higher education in contemporary Hong Kong (ESRC and RGC, Hong Kong, RES-000-22-3000). She held an ESRC seminar series (with Rachel Brooks, Alison Fuller and John Holford) on the changing spaces of education, which is now published as an edited collection by Routledge (Brooks, R., A. Fuller and J. Waters (eds.) (2012) Changing spaces of education: new perspectives on the nature of learning). Johanna is currently working on a project on elite school geographies, with friend and colleague in sociology at Surrey Rachel Brooks.

Recent Research Grants

  • University of Oxford, Returning Carer's Fund, 2015 - 2016, £2,580
  • The Brian Simon Fellowship, 2014 - 2015 (awarded by the British Educational Research Association), £3,000
  • ESRC Research Grant, 2009 - 2011 (Principal Investigator with Co-Is M. Leung & G. Lin, University of Hong Kong); 'Joint initiatives between UK and Hong Kong higher education institutions - an examination of student and employer perspectives', £43,215 (FEC), plus HK$ 350,000 from Hong Kong Research Grants Council (RES-000-22-3000)
  • ESRC Research Seminar Series, 2009 - 2010 (first Co-I with R. Brooks, Department of Politics, University of Surrey; A. Fuller, Department of Education, University of Southampton, and J. Holford, Department of Education, University of Nottingham); 'New Spaces of Education: the Changing Nature of Learning in the 21st Century', £13,965
  • British Academy Larger Research Grant, 2007 - 2008 (Co-I with R. Brooks, Department of Politics, University of Surrey); 'International higher education and the mobility of UK students: motivations, experiences and labour market outcomes', £91,848 (FEC) (LRG-45489)


Johanna is part of the core teaching team on the MSc in Sustainable Urban Development. She lectures on migration for prelims and social geography for FHS. Within Continuing Education she is Director of Graduate Studies.

Current Graduate Research Students

Kris Lee

Understanding 'Reversed-Flow' international student mobility: a Bourdieusian perspective

Recent Graduate Research Students (since 2006)

Yi'En Cheng
Completed DPhil in 2015

Education, class, and youth: young people's experiences of private higher education in Singapore

Completed Doctoral Research Students

  • Dr. Christopher Coey, PhD awarded 2013. University studentship. Thesis: International education and European Migration, University of Liverpool
  • Dr. Su-Chuin Soon, PhD awarded 2012. University studentship. Thesis: The Chinese Community in Liverpool, University of Liverpool
  • Dr. Raye Ng, PhD awarded 2011. Self-funded. Thesis: Constructions of Corporate Culture in Singapore, University of Liverpool
  • Dr. Denise Hinton, PhD awarded September 2010. ESRC/Welsh Assembly funded (1+3). Thesis: The Geography of HE Provision in Wales: Mobility and the Educational and Career Choices of Welsh Students, University of Liverpool
  • Dr. Helena Pimlott-Wilson, PhD awarded December 2008. ESRC funded (1+3). Thesis: Children's Experiences of Mothers' Employment, University of Liverpool
  • Dr. Stephanie Geary, PhD awarded April 2007. ESRC funded. Thesis: Organisational Knowledge in the Merseyside SME Support Sector: Knowing, Individual Interaction and Place, University of Liverpool

Selected Publications

  • ORCID profile unavailable
  • View Dr Johanna Waters's Scopus profile
  • View Dr Johanna Waters's ResearchGate profile
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  • View Dr Johanna Waters's Google Scholar profile
  • ResearcherID profile unavailable


Journal Articles

Book Chapters

Other Publications

  • Waters, J.L. (forthcoming) Hong Kong Movers and Stayers: Narratives of Family Migration. Social Forces.
Working papers
  • Waters, J.L. and Teo, S.Y. (2003) 'Social and cultural impacts of immigration: an examination of the concept of 'social cohesion' with implications for British Columbia'. Vancouver Centre of Excellence, Research on Immigration and Integration in the Metropolis Working Paper Series: No. 03-03, 47pp.
  • Bauder, H., Waters, J.L. and Teo, S.Y. (2001) 'Economic, demographic and geographic impacts of immigration to British Columbia'. Vancouver Centre of Excellence, Research on Immigration and Integration in the Metropolis Working Paper Series: No. 01-17, 115pp.
  • Waters, J.L. (2001) 'The flexible family? Recent immigration and astronaut households in Vancouver, British Columbia'. Vancouver Centre of Excellence, Research on Immigration and Integration in the Metropolis Working Paper Series: No. 01-02, 52pp.
  • Waters, J.L. (2001) 'Migration strategies and Transnational Families: Vancouver's Satellite Kids'. Vancouver Centre of Excellence, Research on Immigration and Integration in the Metropolis Working Paper Series: No. 01-10, 39pp.
Research/policy reports and blog entries