Jimmy Stef

Ph.D. student in sociology at the Université Côte d’Azur. He has a doctoral contract (36 months), funded by the CNRS, with international mobility of 20 months (InSHS). He is part of URMIS (Nice) and Research Institute for Contemporary Southeast Asia (USR 3142 – UMIFRE 22 CNRS MAEDI, Bangkok, Thailand).

Thesis in preparation since October 2018:

The internationalization of higher education in Southeast Asia. Between transnational education, privatization and making of local and international elites: the case of Singapore and Malaysia.

Supervisors:  Catherine Blaya (PR) and Valérie Erlich (MCF).

Prepared at the Doctoral School “Societies, Humanities, Arts and Letters” (SHAL) in the Université Côte d’Azur.

The aim of this thesis is to understand how internationalization is reconfiguring higher education systems in Singapore and Malaysia and more broadly in ASEAN (Association of Southern Asian Nations). It proposes to adopt a perspective of analysis of internationalization policies and their impact on the strategies of higher education institutions. And also, to analyze the new circulations of local and international elites that they generate. In addition, this research is in line with current international training policies in terms of looking for excellence and allows to reconsider oppositions ‘South and North’. It raises questions about knowledge transfer around the world and about the emergence of new regional centers to welcome international students, such as South Africa, Australia, North Africa, and Southeast Asia. Finally, this thesis also questions students strategies and their migration careers, in order to perceive the impact of internationalization on their mobilities and their projects.

Research areas:

  • Malaysia (with the support of the Pondok-Perancis Institute in Kuala Lumpur)
  • Singapore


Stef, J. (2019). Comment les grandes écoles françaises se sont-elles adaptées au processus d’internationalisation des élites : De l’analyse des discours des acteurs institutionnels à l’émergence de stratégies proactivesJournal of international Mobility, 7(1), 107-135. doi:10.3917/jim.007.0107.

Course provided:

“Sociological survey by a questionnaire” conducted at the Université Côte d’Azur.

Distinction for research work:

Special mention obtained in 2017 at the 27th Competition of the National Observatory of Student Life (OVE) for the Master research paper titled: Internationalization of the French Grandes Ecoles and Making of the Elite. Institution Strategies and Student Mobility. Supervisor: Valérie Erlich (MCF).