KOH Sin Yee

Senior Assistant Professor, Deputy Director
PhD (London School of Economics and Political Science)


Dr Koh Sin Yee is Senior Assistant Professor in Asian Migration, Mobility and Diaspora at the IAS. She is also Adjunct Senior Research Fellow at the School of Arts and Social Sciences, Monash University Malaysia.

She is a human geographer with 8+ years postdoctoral experience in leading universities in Hong Kong, Brunei, and Malaysia.

Her work is positioned in migration studies, urban studies and postcolonial geography. It uses the lens of migration and mobility to understand the circulations of people, capital, and aspirations in and through cities.

Research Interests

     • Migration mobilities and inclusion/exclusion
     • Urban capital and enabling agents (e.g. intermediaries, migration industry, migration infrastructure)
     • China and Chinese worlds
     • Multicultural education
     • Youth, education and mobilities

Select Publications


Koh, S.Y. (2017). Race, Education and Citizenship: Mobile Malaysians, British Colonial Legacies, and a Culture of Migration. Palgrave Macmillan.

Edited Books
Chan, Y.W. & Koh, S.Y. (Eds.) (2018). New Chinese Migrations: Mobility, Home, and Inspirations. Routledge.

Rogers, D., & Koh, S.Y. (Eds.) (2018). The Globalisation of Real Estate: The Politics and Practice of Foreign Real Estate Investment. Routledge.

Forrest, R., Koh, S.Y., & Wissink, B. (Eds.) (2017). Cities and the Super-Rich: Real Estate, Elite Practices and Urban Political Economies. Palgrave Macmillan.

Journal Articles
Koh, S. Y. (2022). The inversion of majority/minority at the de/reterritorialised urban higher education enclave: Xiamen University Malaysia. Urban Studies. doi: 10.1177/00420980221109135

Koh, S. Y., & Sin, I. L. (2022). Race, whiteness and internationality in transnational education: Academic and teacher expatriates in Malaysia. Ethnic and Racial Studies, 45(4), 656–676. doi: 10.1080/01419870.2021.1977362

Cheng, Y., & Koh, S. Y. (2022). The ‘soft infrastructure’ of the Belt and Road Initiative: Imaginaries, affinities and subjectivities in Chinese transnational education. Singapore Journal of Tropical Geography. doi: 10.1111/sjtg.12420

Koh, S. Y. (2021). Disrupted geographic arbitrage and differential capacities of coping in later-life: Anglo-Western teacher expatriates in Brunei. International Migration Review, 55(2), 322–346. doi: 10.1177/0197918320926910

Koh, S. Y. (2021). The interurban migration industry: ‘Migration products’ and the materialisation of urban speculation at Iskandar Malaysia. Urban Studies. doi: 10.1177/0042098021992219

Koh, S.Y., & Sin, I.L. (2020). Academic and Teacher Expatriates: Mobilities, Positionalities and Subjectivities. Geography Compass, 14(5), e12487. doi: 10.1111/gec3.12487

Koh, S.Y., & Harris, A. (2020). Multicultural Reflexivity: University Students Negotiating ‘Pockets’ and ‘Strings’ of Multiculturalism in Malaysia. Children’s Geographies. doi: 10.1080/14733285.2020.1713300

Koh, S.Y., & Wissink, B. (2018). Enabling, Structuring and Creating Elite Transnational Lifestyles: Intermediaries of the Super-Rich and the Elite Mobilities Industry. Journal of Ethnic and Migration Studies, 44(4), 592-609. doi: 10.1080/1369183X.2017.1315509

Koh, S.Y. (2015). Postcolonial Approaches to Migration in Asia: Reflections and Projections. Geography Compass, 9(8), 432-444. doi: 10.1111/gec3.12226

Koh, S.Y. (2015). How and Why Race Matters: Malaysian-Chinese Transnational Migrants Interpreting and Practising Bumiputera-Differentiated Citizenship. Journal of Ethnic and Migration Studies, 41(3), 531-550. doi: 10.1080/1369183X.2014.937327

Invited Encyclopaedia Entries
Koh, S.Y. (2020) Inequality. In Kobayashi, A. (Ed.) International Encyclopedia of Human Geography (2nd ed.) (pp. 269-277). Elsevier.

Koh, S.Y. (2020) Super Rich. In Kobayashi, A. (Ed.) International Encyclopedia of Human Geography (2nd ed.) (pp. 127-131). Elsevier.


IAS Researcher Participates in the Women RISE Asia Regional Learning Workshop

Senior Assistant Professor and Deputy Director of the Institute of Asian Studies Koh Sin Yee participated in the Asia Regional Learning Workshop held on 26-27 July 2023 at Monash University Malaysia. The workshop is part of the Women RISE Initiative, a Canadian initiative launched in March 2022 by the Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR), […]

Read More

New Special Issue on the Urbanising Dynamics of Global China

Senior Assistant Professor Sin Yee Koh of the Institute of Asian Studies at Universiti Brunei Darussalam (IAS @ UBD) has co-edited a journal special issue entitled “The Urbanising Dynamics of Global China: Speculation, Articulation, and Translation in Global Capitalism” with Professor Hyun Bang Shin (London School of Economics and Political Science) and Dr Yimin Zhao […]

Read More

IAS Researcher Contributes to Malaysia Futures Forum

Senior Assistant Professor and Deputy Director of the Institute of Asian Studies Koh Sin Yee was a panellist on the Urban Futures panel at the LSE SEAC-KRI Malaysia Futures Forum, held on 31 May and 1 June in Kuala Lumpur. The 2-day forum was co-organised by the Saw Swee Hock Southeast Asia Centre at the […]

Read More

Seminar on Migration Mobilities in Asia

The Institute of Asian Studies at Universiti Brunei Darussalam (IAS @ UBD) recently held a seminar on “Interdisciplinary Dialogues on Migration Mobilities in Asia – Dialogue #1 Lifestyle Migration.” Facilitated by Senior Professor Koh Sin Yee (IAS), the seminar engaged with the work on mobility in Asia of Dr. Sirijit Sunanta (Mahidol University), Dr. Mayumi […]

Read More