Date: January 26, 2021 (Tuesday)

Time: 15:00-16:30 (Hong Kong Time)

Education Policy Unit Social Contexts and Policies of Education (Academic Unit)Consortium for Higher Education Research in Asia
Education in China's Greater Bay Area

Motivations and Experiences of Students Studying Cross Border

in China’s Greater Bay Area

Chair & Discussant

Prof Cheng Kai-ming

The University of Hong Kong

Discussant

Prof Gerard Postiglione

The University of Hong Kong

Discussant

Prof Liu Baocun

Beijing Normal University

Speaker

Dr Yanju Shao

City University of Macau


Pursuing doctoral studies in Macau’s private universities: pragmatic motivations and challenging experiences of Guangdong college teachers

Dr Yanju Shao

In response to the emergence of a strong cross-border student flow of postgraduate students from mainland China to the Macau Special Administrative Region, this presentation examines the motivations and experience of a special group of doctoral students: college teachers working in Guangdong and simultaneously pursuing PhD degrees at private universities in Macau. Using a qualitative research method, thirteen college teachers were interviewed. The findings reveal their motivations for pursuing doctoral studies in Macau, and the difficulties they faced and gains they obtained from this experience. The key external driving force was the college teachers’ strong desire for career development. The internal motivation is to gain further academic qualifications, to improve their professional capability or realize a lifelong dream. Geographic proximity, low admission requirements for English proficiency, and personal experiences had driven them to choose Macau as the study destination. The difficulties encountered included time management, doctoral dissertations work, and constraints in supervision. Nonetheless, the journey is considered as a process of self-formation and achievements. The findings indicate a potential expansion of the role of Macau’s higher education system. Once merely a stepping-stone, it is now an acceleration site for brain circulation between Macau and Guangdong as part of a regionalization strategy for China’s Greater Bay Area.

Speaker

Dr Alice Te

The University of Hong Kong

Trans-contextualized cross-border student choice under “one country, two systems” from Hong Kong to Mainland China for higher education

Dr Alice Te

This presentation examines the complexity and dynamics of Hong Kong students’ choice to pursue undergraduate education in Mainland China under the context of “one country, two systems.” This study mainly draws on primary data from in-depth interviews of 51 Hong Kong students studying in Mainland universities. Qualitative approach of inquiry is adopted to probe into the underlying reasons and processes undergone during the educational choice. Academic factors push Hong Kong students away from local universities due to the failure of getting admissions in preferred programs or universities, and pull them toward Mainland universities due to attractions of specific universities and programs. During three phases of decision-making process, different influencing factors have conditioned three orientations: pragmatists enrolled in their aspired programs as the first choice, achievers utilized a fast-track path to enter elite universities and underachievers treated such study opportunity as a last resort for a degree. This study contributes to a better understanding of the dynamics of educational choice to higher education in Hong Kong at a strategic point of time. It explains how the macro political/policy and sociocultural contexts, the institutional influences of hosting universities and sending secondary schools, perceived parental influence and students’ personal characteristics have shaped students’ college choice.