A Comparative Case Study of Two Ethnic Minority-Serving Higher Education Institutions for Navajo People and Korean Chinese

Weiyan XIONG*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Other Conference ContributionsPresentationPresentation


American Indians and Alaska Natives (AIANs) in the United States and Ethnic Minorities (EMs) in China are both underrepresented groups in their higher education (HE) systems regarding access and attainment. Also, their cultures and languages confront challenges in contemporary societies dominated by the mainstream cultures and languages, as well as the trend of globalization. Tribal Colleges and Universities (TCUs) in the United States and Ethnic Minority-Serving Institutions (EMSIs) in China increasingly play a significant role in changing the disadvantageous situations of AIAN and Chinese Ethnic Minority (CEM) students in both HE systems. Also, they are critical in AIAN tribal nation building and CEM policy implementation, as well as in the preservation of indigenous and ethnic minority languages, cultures, and identities. This comparative case study of two ethnic minority-serving higher education institutions—Diné College in the US and Yanbian University in China aims to examine their strategies and practices to address challenges in playing their roles of serving Navajo and Korean Chinese students and communities. This study conducts the semi-structured interviews with senior administrators from two case institutions, as well as content area experts in the fields of AIAN and CEM HE. Findings from this study confirm that Diné College and Yanbian University play significant roles in providing HE opportunities and preserving indigenous and ethnic cultures and languages. From a comparative perspective, the efforts of Diné College and Yanbian University in addressing challenges differ because of their respective political and HE contexts. Diné College tends to have more of an institutional-level focus to solve current problems and continue their successful strategies and practices. In comparison, Yanbian University focuses on efforts to better take advantage of resources brought by national policies, which are not only on HE but also in other areas like the economy, development, and foreign affairs.
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusPublished - 18 Apr 2019
EventComparative and International Education Society (CIES) 63th Annual Conference: Education for Sustainability - San Francisco, United States
Duration: 14 Apr 201918 Apr 2019


PerformanceComparative and International Education Society (CIES) 63th Annual Conference
Abbreviated titleCIES 2019
Country/TerritoryUnited States
CitySan Francisco
Internet address


  • American Indian and Alaska Native
  • Chinese Ethnic Minority
  • indigenous higher education
  • Navajo People
  • Korean Chinese


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