1: Introduction

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The introduction sets out the key rationale behind a book focusing on higher education in small island contexts and introduces the key themes for the book. The chapter starts by focusing on the value of a small island lens for surfacing and exploring issues of place and mobility, which are significant concerns in higher education provision more generally. The chapter then moves to providing an overview of existing literature relating to island higher education, drawing particularly on a body of work developed in the 1980s and 1990s on higher education in small states, which includes island states. Key themes from this literature are explored and contextualized in relation to current themes in higher education scholarship and the context of the small island (rather than the small state). The chapter concludes by introducing the structure of the book and providing an introduction to each of the chapters.

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