This chapter presents the international context of higher education (HE), considering difference, diversity and inequality in relation to pedagogical questions and concerns. Interrogating the hegemony of neo-liberal discourses, we consider the ways global forces are profoundly reshaping the policy and practice of teaching in HE across different international contexts. Higher education reforms are often justifi ed in relation to the drive for ‘excellence’ for all students but largely ignore deeply embedded and complex histories of misrecognition, creating new forms of inequality, stratifi cation and exclusion. Gendered, classed and racialised subjectivities and epistemologies, as well as other intersecting inequalities, are made unspeakable through technologies of performativity, regulation and ‘datafi cation’ (Sellar, 2013) yet are deeply felt through lived experiences of misrecognition. The increasing emphasis of higher education policy on the economic realm drives the rationalities underpinning policy discourses of widening participation and equity, with universities expected to contribute to business, innovation and industry, moving increasingly to the logics of the market. In such frameworks, universities are positioned as competing in the global market of higher education for ‘world class’ students, staff and resources, based on the ‘quality’ of their institutional profi le in relation to research and teaching.