International Students in Chinese Higher Education: Choices, Expectations, and Experiences by Region of Origin

International Students in Chinese Higher Education: Choices, Expectations, and Experiences by Region of Origin

Claire Hu (Tsinghua University, China), Christine Min Wotipka (Stanford University, USA) and Wen Wen (Tsinghua University, China)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-4666-9746-1.ch009
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Abstract

The authors examine the choices, expectations, and experiences of international students in China, aiming to understand emerging reverse student flows and the role of political, economic and cultural factors in international student mobility. Data were drawn from survey responses by 1674 international students from Africa, Asia, Europe, Latin and North America studying at eight Chinese universities. Findings suggest significant differences among students' choices, experiences, and expectations by their region of origin. In a broader context, this research addresses the important role of developing countries as not only senders but also receivers of international students, and demonstrates ways that political, economic and cultural structures influence international students' choices, experiences and expectations. This research on international education in China contributes to the study of regionalization and internationalization of higher education.
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Background

The impetus for students who choose to attend universities in developing countries is often overlooked in research. As a result, we have a poor understanding of the decision-making processes, expectations for studying abroad, and actual experiences of these international students. However, it is important to note that China is recognized as one of the four largest developing economies known as the BRIC countries (Carnoy et al., 2012), thus it may not be possible to analyze international students who go to China to study in the same way as those who chose other developing countries as their study abroad destination.

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