Maggi Leung is a geographer and migration scholar by training. Her research aims to account for the prevailing uneven socio-spatial impact of the flows that define our interconnected world. Maggi endeavours to produce insights that contribute to more just and sustainable futures. Working with multi-scalar (from the global to the body), intersectional and translocal perspectives, her main research interests are: opportunities and challenges of migration, with a focus on related injustice; internationalisation of education and knowledge mobilities; and Chinese transnationalism and impact on global development.
Maggi was born and raised in Hong Kong. She completed her higher education in the USA (BA at Dartmouth College and MA at the University of Minnesota, Twin Cities), and obtained her doctorate in Human Geography at Bremen University (Germany) in 2002. Maggi began her academic career as a lecturer at the Chinese University of Hong Kong (2002-2006) and the University of Hong Kong (2007-2010). Between these two appointments, she was affiliated with the University of Bonn as Humboldt Research Fellow. She took up, end of 2010, the post of Assistant Professor in International Development Studies at the Department of Human Geography and Spatial Planning of Utrecht University, where she worked as Associate Professor between 2011 to 2021.
Maggi has extensive experience in fieldwork-based research in Asia (Hong Kong, China, Indonesia, Vietnam), Africa (Ethiopia and Zambia) and Europe (Germany, the Netherlands and the UK). She has conducted research across the urban-rural continuum. While the city remains her study focus, much of her recent work examines development challenges and opportunities in ‘shrinking’ or peripherised places.
Maggi has broad experience in education. She has taught in different education contexts and designed many Bachelor’s and Master’s courses and programmes. Besides being a committed educator in practice, she is also engaged in education-related research and initiatives. Currently, she teaches Bachelor and Master-level courses in development geography, migration and inclusive development.
To optimise the impact of her research, Maggi engages in co-creative, action- and solution-oriented partnerships with academic and social actors. She makes efforts in translating and disseminating research findings to diverse audiences using different media and activities.
Maggi is one of the editors of Geoforum, and a member of the International Board of Editors of Chinese Overseas Review (Chinese language).
She is a Steering Group member of the IMISCOE (International Migration, Integration and Social Cohesion in Europe) research cluster on Gender and Sexuality in Migration Research (GenSeM).
Working with transnational/translocal flow perspectives, Maggi's main research interests are:
Current research projects: