ERG SES D 10, Mobility and Education
Hong Kong’s sovereign reversion to China in 1997 has seen marked increase in the number of Mainland Chinese (MLC) students crossing the border to receive tertiary education in higher education institutions (HEIs) in Hong Kong (HK). Operated under the ‘One Country, Two Systems’ principle, HK retains the political, social and economic systems inherited from its colonial past for a period of 50 years (Abbas, 1997; Clark, 1991). The complex linguistic, cultural and ideological differences between HK and China have been extensively studied in research (Baum, 1999; Brewer, 1999; Chan, 2010; Flowerdew, 2004), all of which recognises the importance of bridging understanding of cross-border communications including talent flows. Albeit being a within–country border, the border between mainland China and HK resembles that of an inter-nation one (Li, 2010). Although research on the Mainland China-HK cross-border education has not attracted due attention as that of the Bologna process in Europe (Powell & Finger, 2013), implications drawn from this study can cast light on the Europeanisation process (Altbach & Knight, 2007) whereby the boundaries between borders become fuzzier and yet the intricate differences between nations remain (Delanty, 2006), especially considering the rising centrality of Chinese higher education in the international arena (Hayhoe & Liu, 2010) and the crucial links between Europe and Asia (Brooks & Waters, 2011).
In recent years, as more MLC residents frequent HK for work, travel or study, locals in HK seem to be getting more vocal in expressing ‘their disdain’ (Ramzy, 2013). Among the many issues, calls to reduce the number of MLC students in an effort to promote ‘anti-mainlandisation’ in HK HEIs have appeared to challenge the views and feelings of many MLC students in HK HEIs. In October 2013, the war of words between MLC students and HK locals triggered by the tragic death of the 25-year-old MLC graduate Miss Stephanie Liu Han (ibid.) has further intensified the already disquieting relationships between the two groups. At such a juncture, this paper seeks to explore answers to the following questions:
- What are the MLC students’ experiences of being non-local students in the HK HEIs and how do they respond to / make sense of them?
- What identities (e.g. cultural, national, ethnic, etc.) (if any) emerge in their transition process and how are these identities constructed and / or reconstructed in different domains (sub-fields) in the HK HEIs?
Abbas, M. A. (1997). Hong Kong: Culture and the politics of disappearance (Vol. 2). Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press. Altbach, P. G., & Knight, J. (2007). The internationalization of higher education: Motivations and realities. Journal of Studies in International Education, 11(3-4), 290-305. Baum, R. (1999). Enter the dragon: China's courtship of Hong Kong, 1982–1999. Communist and Post-Communist Studies, 32(4), 417-436. Bourdieu, P. (1990). The Logic of Practice, trans. R. Nice. Cambridge: Polity. Bourdieu, P. (2002). Habitus. In J. Hillier & E. Rooksby (Eds.), Habitus: A sense of place (pp. 27-34). Aldershot Ashgate Publishing Company. Brewer, M. B. (1999). Multiple identities and identity transition: Implications for Hong Kong. International Journal of Intercultural Relations, 23(2), 187-197. Brooks, R., & Waters, J. (2011). Student mobilities, migration and the internationalization of higher education. Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan. Chan, K.-B. (2010). City-state lens: Hong Kong in the eyes of mainland China students]. Hong Kong:Chung Hwa Book Company. Chen, H-S. (1992) Chinatown no more: Taiwan immigrants in contemporary New York. Ithaca; London: Cornell University Press. Clark, D. J. (1991). The Hong Kong Basic Law: blueprint for "stability and prosperity" under Chinese sovereignty? (Vol. 1). Hong Kong: Hong Kong University Press. Delanty, G. (2006). Borders in a changing Europe: Dynamics of openness and closure. Comparative European Politics, 4(2/3), 183-202. Eder, K. (2006). Europe's borders: The narrative construction of the boundaries of Europe. European Journal of Social Theory, 9(2), 255-271. Flowerdew, J. (2004). Identity politics and Hong Kong’s return to Chinese sovereignty: analysing the discourse of Hong Kong’s first Chief Executive. Journal of Pragmatics, 36(9), 1551-1578. Hayhoe, R., & Liu, J. (2010). China's universities, cross-border education, and dialogue among civilizations. In D. W. Chapman, w. K. Cummings & G. A. Postiglione (Eds.), Crossing borders in East Asian higher education (pp. 77-100). Springer; Hong Kong: Comparative Education Research Centre, University of Hong Kong. Li, M. (2010). Border crossing and market integration: Mainland consumers meet Hong Kong suppliers. In D. W. Chapman, W. K. Cummings & G. A. Postiglione (Eds.), Crossing borders in East Asian higher education (pp. 319-342). Hong Kong: Springer. Powell, J., J. W., & Finger, C. (2013). The Bologna Process's model of mobility in Europe: The relationship of its spatial and social dimensions. European Educational Research Journal, 12(2), 270-285. Ramzy, A. (2013). Death in Hong Kong Fuels Feelings of Discrimination. The New York Times. Retrieved from http://cn.nytimes.com/china/20131016/c16hongkong/en-us/
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