Despite the increasingly global implications of conversations about writing and learning, US composition studies has devoted little attention to cross-national perspectives on student writing and its roles in wider cultural contexts. How do the students in China, England, France, Germany, Kenya or South Africa - the educational systems represented in this collection - write their way into the communities of their chosen disciplines? How, for instance, do students whose mother tongue is t the language of instruction cope with the demands of academic and discipline-specific writing? And in what ways is US students' development as academic writers similar to or different from that of students in other countries? In this collection, editors David Foster and David R. Russell broaden the discussion about the role of writing in various educational systems and cultures. Students' development as academic writers raises issues of student authorship and agency, as well as larger issues of educational access, institutional power relations, system goals, and students' roles in society. The contributors to this collection discuss selected writing purposes and forms characteristic of a specific national education system, describe students' agency as writers, and identify contextual factors - social, ecomic, linguistic, cultural - that shape institutional responses to writing development. In discussions that bookend these studies of different educational structures, the editors compare US post-secondary writing practices and pedagogies with those in other national systems, and suggest new perspectives for cross-national study of learning/writing issues important to all educational systems.