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Title: University support for mainland Chinese research students in Hong Kong
Author: Tang, Jenny Sau-man
ISNI:       0000 0004 4692 2377
Awarding Body: University of Bristol
Current Institution: University of Bristol
Date of Award: 2014
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Internationalization has brought many changes to the landscape of higher education in Hong Kong. The Hong Kong government's move to expand research training, develop Hong Kong into a regional education hub, build a closer connection with Mainland China after the return of Hong Kong's sovereignty in 1997, and the proportional decrease in University Grant Council's (UGC) annual funding to the higher education sector has led to an increasing number of Mainland Chinese Research (MCR) students enrolling in Hong Kong universities. They have gradually outnumbered the local students and become the majority of the research student population in Hong Kong. This study aims to identify the unmet needs and problems of MCR students and to evaluate the support provided by universities in Hong Kong. This is done with reference to a detailed empirically grounded case study of one university department's support services, from the perspective of MCR students enrolled during the period 1991 to 2008. The students' perspectives are examined in the light of their experience, personal backgrounds and the changing contexts of the case study university and department. In many respects MCR students experience some of the same problems international research students experience when they move to study in Hong Kong because of the difference between the academic training and living environments in Hong Kong and Mainland China. The theoretical framework of this study is therefore based on research relating to the internationalization of higher education and the experiences of international students. Focus is placed on a combination of the models of internationalization of higher education proposed by Altbach, Marginson and Knights and De Wit, which display the different levels of contexts for the case study, namely global, local, and institutional. From this a new research model is proposed that combines all three levels of contexts and aims to present a better understanding of the phenomenon by exploring the dynamics among the factors displayed in these different levels of contexts. The analysis investigates the impacts of the socio-economic and cultural contexts and changes in the higher education sectors in Hong Kong and Mainland China. Attention is given to the development of research training in the university during the case study period, and to policies related to the flow of MCR students to Hong Kong. Results reveal the changing profiles of MCR students during the case study period, their diverse backgrounds, and goals, and the demands they make for support services from the university. Conclusions examine the gaps between the needs of this group of students and the student support services provided by the university. Results also call for greater reflection on the impact on the Hong Kong higher education sector brought about by MCR student mobility.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (D.Ed.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available