1st Edition

Choosing Chinese Universities A Negotiated Choice for Hong Kong Students

By Alice Y.C. Te Copyright 2023
    204 Pages 9 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    204 Pages 9 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    This book unpacks the complex dynamics of Hong Kong students’ choice in pursuing undergraduate education at the universities of Mainland China. Drawing on an empirical study based on interviews with 51 students, this book investigates how macro political/economic factors, institutional influences, parental influence, and students’ personal motivations have shaped students’ eventual choice of university.

    Building on Perna’s integrated model of college choice and Lee’s push-pull mobility model, this book conceptualizes that students’ border crossing from Hong Kong to Mainland China for higher education is a trans-contextualized negotiated choice under the "One Country, Two Systems" principle. The findings reveal that during the decision-making process, influencing factors have conditioned four archetypes of student choice: Pragmatists, Achievers, Averages, and Underachievers. The book closes by proposing an enhanced integrated model of college choice that encompasses both rational motives and sociological factors, and examines the theoretical significance and practical implications of the qualitative study.

    With its focus on student choice and experiences of studying in China, this book’s research and policy findings will interest researchers, university administrators, school principals, and teachers.

    1. The changing scene 2. Framing the concepts 3. Macro contexts under “One Country, Two Systems” 4. The pull: Mainland universities' incentivizing admission policies and strategies 5. The push: Hong Kong schools' facilitating roles and strategies 6. Making a choice: Family and society 7. The rationale of making the choice: Four scenarios of student choice 8. The process of making the choice: Three phases and the factors of influence 9. Making a negotiated choice: Trans-contextualization 10. Contributions and conclusion


    Alice Y.C. Te received her Ph.D. in Education and B.Soc.Sc. in Management from The University of Hong Kong, and M.A. in Training and Human Resource Development from the University of Technology Sydney. She is currently the Managing Editor of Public Administration and Policy: An Asia-Pacific Journal published by Emerald in the United Kingdom. She is also a Director of Studies and Supervisor of doctoral student dissertations of the DBA programme, University of Wales Trinity Saint David operated by the Hong Kong Management Association in Hong Kong, as well as a Postdoctoral Research Associate of the Consortium for Higher Education Research in Asia (CHERA) at The University of Hong Kong, and Vice President for Journal Publication of the Hong Kong Public Administration Association. Her research interests include international student mobility, cross-border higher education, education policies in Greater Bay Area of China.

    "Not all mobile university students are moving from East to West or South to North. Movement within the greater East Asia region is again becoming important, as it was for hundreds of years before European colonialization, and China is at the centre of the region. This great study by Dr. Alice Te takes us into the hearts of students making the momentous educational journey between systems, from Hong Kong SAR into PRC China."

    Simon Marginson, Professor of Higher Education at the University of Oxford, and Joint Editor-in-Chief of Higher Education Journal

    "Drawing on interviews with 51 students and other sources, this volume unpacks the forces that influence the decision of some Hong Kong students to enroll in mainland universities for their undergraduate education. Dr. Te demonstrates that, while students make these decisions, these decisions are influenced by students’ academic objectives and performance, the involvement and perspectives of their parents, the resources of the secondary schools they attend, the strategies mainland universities use to recruit them, and the larger political, economic, and socio-cultural contexts. Findings have useful implications for policy and practice, as well as students and their parents."

    Laura W. Perna, Vice Provost for Faculty and GSE Centennial Presidential Professor of Education, University of Pennsylvania

    "This is a valuable book providing information and analysis on how and why Hong Kong students choosing to study in universities in Mainland China. As an international city, many Hong Kong students decided to study in Western countries, especially in the UK, USA, Canada and Australia, with a few studying in Singapore and Japan. There are very few studies about Hong Kong students in mainland universities. This book therefore fills a significant gap in the literature on destination for higher education outside Hong Kong. The study has identified six popular universities including Tsinghua, Peking, Fudan, Sun Yat-sen, Jinan and Huaqiao. Dr. Te has proposed a model based on Laura Perna’s conceptual model that integrates human capital, sociological and contextualization perspectives in understanding how the push-pull factors affect students’ choice of university, and how mainland universities have become an increasingly attractive choice for Hong Kong students. This book will be useful for those who consider pursuing higher studies, as well as researchers and policy makers who want to understand the push-pull factors for choosing mainland universities."

    Wing On Lee, Professor, and Executive Director, Institute for Adult Learning, Singapore University of Social Sciences

    "This is an unusual book. It is not just another account of students cross borders and cultures, it is a wonderful window to understand how young people think under the One Country Two Systems arrangement."

    Kai-ming Cheng, Emeritus Professor, The University of Hong Kong

    "This eye-opening book provides insightful analysis of why Hong Kong students choose to study in Chinese mainland universities through in-depth interviews with the students. The model of college choice under a multi-layered structure which integrated both push-pull model and process approach has not only made substantial theoretical contributions, but also nicely encompassed institutional influences of government departments, universities, and secondary schools. This book is highly recommended for public policy makers, university administrators, secondary school principals and teachers."

    Peter Fong, Professor, Editor-in-Chief, Public Administration and Policy Journal, and President, Hong Kong Public Administration Association

    "This is the first book-length study of a progressive pattern of Hong Kong students moving to the Chinese mainland for university. As a Hong Kong insider who also studies international student mobility patterns, Dr. Te brings us a more nuanced understanding of this complex phenomenon. Her findings can helpfully inform local policy deliberations going forward."

    Gerard A. Postiglione, Series Editor of Education and Society in China, and Emeritus Professor and Honorary Professor, The University of Hong Kong