The Readiness, Challenges, and Expected Support for Chinese Students' Overseas Study: A Focus on Business and Management Programmes

The Readiness, Challenges, and Expected Support for Chinese Students' Overseas Study: A Focus on Business and Management Programmes

Chengbo Wang (Edge Hill University, UK), Xiaomei Li (Tianjin University, China) and Zhaofang Mao (Tianjin University, China)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-4666-6046-5.ch080


This empirical investigation focuses on the readiness of the overseas study of potential Chinese business and management programme students and the challenges anticipated by them as well as their expected support from the destination institutes/staff based on a research conducted with undergraduate students from a top public university in China. The chapter presents insights on the relevant issues meaningful for Higher Education Institutes (HEIs) in English-Speaking Developed Countries (ESDCs, such as UK) that are the main host countries for Chinese international students. The research findings provide an informed guidance to British/ESDCs' HEIs in facilitating and teaching Chinese students to ensure their fruitful learning experience and to enhance their academic competence; the findings can also inform the Chinese institutes to prepare their students for a successful overseas education.
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Literature Review

Globalisation is the contemporary trend of businesses, higher education institutions (HEIs) are among those organizations actively internationalising their service provisions (education). Higher education’s internationalisation can provide substantial benefit to the HEIs and contribute positively to the national economy where the HEIs locate. The higher education provision’s internationalisation is mainly driven by (Yemini, 2012; Bodycott & Lai, 2012; Welikala, 2011; Qiang, 2003; Altbach, 2002; Scott, 1998): 1) The globalisation of economy and social activities require that HEIs supply the professionals to the real world organisations with the knowledge and skills of dealing with the complexity of different cultural, economical, social and even political dimensions; 2) To increase the scope and scale of research requires extensive cooperation of researchers from different countries; 3) The availability of information and communication technology (ICT) and the improved English language level of potential international students and the acceptance of English as an international communication language; 4) The increment and betterment of the HEIs’ financial income and the positive contribution to the national economy from tuition fees paid by the overseas students. Naturally the HEIs have a strong willingness for internationalisation, represented by more international recruitment. Meanwhile, for the potential international students and their parents, to pursue overseas higher education is deemed as a worthy investment for the individual students’ future (Bodycott & Lai, 2012). This contention has been evidenced by the fast increasing number of international student cohorts (HESA, 2012) and the large number of British HEIs (The Complete University Guide, 2012) providing on-campus and off-shore international education programmes.

Key Terms in this Chapter

Readiness of Overseas Study: Refers to the aspects of the international students’ willingness for abroad study, the availability of their finance sources and their skills/competence status for fulfilling the overseas study tasks.

Higher Education’s Internationalisation: A terminology has many different definitions, herein this article, it focuses on the issues of international students’ joining in the study programmes of higher education institutes (HEIs) in English speaking developed countries (ESDCs) and the ESDC host institutes’ recruitment and education process of these students.

BEC Test: Cambridge Business English Certificate, which is a test focusing on the English listening comprehension, speaking, reading and writing skills of the examinees, based on the practical language requirements for general/business activities.

CET-4: College English Test Band 4, a national English language proficiency test in Chinese higher education institutes, and often used by institutes as one of the criteria for their graduates obtaining degree diploma.

Challenges of Overseas Study: Refers to the international students’ perception of the difficulties and barriers in their overseas study process.

Expected Support of Overseas Study: Refers to the support the students want to receive for their successful learning in a foreign education environment.

IELTS: International English Language Testing System, with similar function to TOEFL, is an English language proficiency test; the IELTS score is recognised by many institutes especially those in English-speaking countries as one of the student recruitment criteria.

TOEFL: Test of English as a Foreign Language, which is a globally respected English language proficiency test, functions as a proof of examinees’ English language capability and its score is usually treated as one of the recruitment criteria for joining in an international higher education programme.

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