Prof. dr. Maggi Leung

International Development Studies

Maggi Leung is now Professor of International Development Studies at the University of Amsterdam. She can be reached at


Working with transnational/translocal flow perspectives, her main research interests are:

  • Uneven geographies of migration, mobilities and development (in particular on migrant labour in the care sector, highly-skilled mobilities as well as student and academic mobilities)
  • Internationalisation of education, knowledge mobilities and activism
  • Chinese migration and transnationalism
  • Migrant investment and other engagements in “shrinking” regions in Europe
  • COVID-19: stigmatisation and geographies of in/exclusion

Whilst much of her research is on Hong Kong, Mainland China, Germany, the Netherlands and the UK, she has also conducted or supervised in-depth research in Indonesia, Vietnam, Ethiopia and Zambia.

In addition, Maggi is engaged in education-related research. Currently, she is involved in three projects (funded by Utrecht University, NWO and the European Commission respectively), which aim at promoting more meaningful internationalisation of education, inter-cultural competence, and transdisciplinary learning and research.

For her recent publications, please check here, under Google Scholar or Research Gate.

She teaches Bachelor and Master-level courses in development geographies, migration, and sustainable development.

She 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 Committee member of the Focus Area 'Migration and Societal Change’ at Utrecht University, and 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).


Education and professional trajectory

  • Professor in International Development Studies, Governance and Inclusive Development (GID), Department of Human Geography, Planning and International Development Studies, University of Amsterdam (since December 2021)
  • Associate Professor in Migration, Transnational Mobilities and Development, Department of Human Geography and Spatial Planning, Utrecht University (2011-2021)
  • Assistant Professor in Migration and Development, Department of Human Geography and Spatial Planning, Utrecht University (2010-2011)
  • Assistant Professor in Population, Social and Cultural Geography, Department of Geography, The University of Hong Kong (2007-2010)
  • Alexander von Humboldt Research Fellow, Department of Geography, University of Bonn, Germany (2006-2007)
  • Assistant Professor in Social and Cultural Geography, Department of Geography and Resource Management, The Chinese University of Hong Kong (2002-2006)
  • Dr. rer. pol. in Geography ‘Making homes in transnational space: An inquiry into the multiple ways of being diaspora Chinese in Germany’ (summa cum laude), Bremen University, Germany (2002)
  • MA in Geography, University of Minnesota (Twin Cities), USA (1996)
  • BA in Geography and Environmental Studies, Dartmouth College, USA (1994)


Current research projects:

  • ‘Investing in “Welcoming Spaces” in Europe: Revitalising shrinking areas by hosting non-EU migrants’ (2020-2024)
    Funding: European Commission Horizon 2020 (2019)
    Co-Investigator and of the Dutch team (Project Coordinator), member of the overall Management Team with Annelies Zoomers, Bianca Szytniewski, Karin Geuijen, Marlies Meijer, and other team members from The Netherlands, Germany, Spain, Italy and Poland. 
  • ‘Development of a Master Degree programme: Democratic Governance and Human Rights (Demos)’ (2020-2022)
    Funding: Erasmus+ Key Action2 ‘Capacity Building in the field of Higher Education’ (2019)
    Co-Investigator, leader of the Dutch (Utrecht University) team (with Gery Nijenhuis). With colleagues from Greece, Lebanon, Morocco (Project Coordinator), Spain and Tunisia.
  • 'VISION – Envisioning Convivial Europe' (2022-2025)
    Funding: Volkswagen Foundation
    PI of NL team, with colleagues at DeZim and Paris Lodron Universität Salzburg.