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Title: Revisioning the employability of international students : a longitudinal diary-based study of Chinese master's students in the UK from a capabilities perspective
Author: Cao, Xuemeng
ISNI:       0000 0004 9358 3494
Awarding Body: University of Warwick
Current Institution: University of Warwick
Date of Award: 2020
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As the largest source country for international students, China has witnessed a huge wave of returnees over the last five years. Chinese international students, who expect positive benefits from overseas higher education (HE) with regard to their career prospects, are beginning to confront employment difficulties in the Chinese labour market. However, insufficient research exists on Chinese students’ understanding of the relationship between their overseas learning experience and employability enhancement. This research takes Chinese international students (who completed undergraduate studies in China) studying social sciences taught Master’s programmes in the UK as the sample, adopting the Capabilities Approach as its theoretical framework and employing semi-structured interviews and solicited diaries to explore their employability management (EM), specifically regarding their motivations for receiving HE abroad, expectations with regard to employability enhancement via international HE, employability management practices during their overseas journeys, and factors impacting their EM and career plans. This thesis argues that participants choose to receive HE abroad out of both intrinsic and instrumental motivations, with career development standing out in the motivation set. Participants’ expectations regarding employability enhancement, as achieved by receiving HE abroad, are not only for graduate employment outcomes but also for long-term personal development. Regarding overseas journey as living abroad rather than simply studying abroad, participants’ EM practices permeate their overseas daily lives in addition to specific events relating to learning and working. Moreover participants’ EM is not only determined by their own choices, but also the impact of conversion factors, including their previous experiences, important “others” involved in their overseas lives, and their own agency of enlarging internal capabilities and interacting with external contexts. Receiving HE abroad is effective in supporting graduate employability of participants by equipping them with capabilities and functionings which are difficult to achieve without international experience; however, it is as participants’ freedom of career choice is heavily impacted by strong conversion factors such as family background, relationship status, financial status and gender.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: China Scholarship Council
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: HD Industries. Land use. Labor ; HF Commerce ; LB2300 Higher Education ; LC Special aspects of education