The sixth EPRC webinar of the 2021 seminar series was held March 31st (12:00 – 13:00 UK) over Zoom. Dr. Alena Myshko, specialist in transport and logistics at Angis, presented on the topic “Academic Mobilities and Spatial Capital: Is There a Link between Regional Airports and Universities? (The Case of North East and Tees Valley, UK)”.

Myshko centred her research on the tension between two higher education agendas: internationalisation and regional engagement. According to Myshko, universities are being challenged by two main streams of pressures in the last decades. On the one hand, they are expected to engage with local and regional actors and communities more intensively, to integrate in the local and regional development in particular, and stimulate the knowledge-based economy in general. On the other hand, due to the processes of globalization of higher education, universities invest more resources in expanding their internationalisation agendas and development. Myshko argued that the impact of this globalisation is seen by universities’ offshore expansion, as well as in increasing international flows of students, academics, and staff. Therefore, the production of mobilities has expanded and became a feature of a modern university.

Myshko argued that the research gap lies in the understanding of balancing both integration agendas and its facilitation and the ways it can underpin mobilities. This combination of fixity and mobility, or ‘place plus mobility’ (Levy, 1994), is in the focus of the theoretical framework of spatial capital used in Alena’s research. In the context of international integration, the role of transport infrastructure, and airports in particularly, which provide accessibility and connectivity and produce mobilities, has changed and is relevant to investigate.

The presented research followed a new path in developing the framework of spatial capital by the inclusion of transport infrastructure, e.g. (regional) airports. Myshko’s research’s aim was to investigate the existence of a link between regional airports and universities and its role in underpinning academic mobilities and spatial capital.

Alena Myshko is from Minsk, Belarus. She has graduated with Bachelor (Hons) and Master (Hons) in Sociology from Saint Petersburg State university, and later completed an MA in Urban Sociology at Goldsmiths, University of London. In 2019, she has successfully defended her PhD title in Urban studies at Gran Sasso Science Institute (and Scuola Superiore Sant’Anna, a joint degree) in Italy. During PhD studies, she spent three visiting and research periods at Centre for Urban and Regional Development Studies (CURDS) at Newcastle University, UK. Since April 2020, she works as a specialist in transport and logistics at Angis in Minsk, as well as participates in several academic research projects.

Myshko’s presentation can be accessed here, and the recording of the webinar can be viewed on the EPRC’s YouTube page here.

Our next webinar will take place Wednesday April 14th, when EPRC’s very own Fiona Wishlade will present on “How and how well does State aid transparency work?”.

Future EPRC webinars will delve on topics of regional policy and development.

If you would like to attend, watch out for updates and registrations by following @eprc_eu on Twitter