Impact of COVID-19 Pandemic on International Higher Education and Student Mobility: Student Perspectives from Mainland China and Hong Kong

Weiyan XIONG*, Ka Ho Joshua MOK, Guoguo KE, Oi Wun Joyce CHEUNG

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Working paperWorking paper series

Abstract

The world is facing an unprecedented health crisis with the spread of COVID-19 across different corners of the globe. The pandemic again raises the issues of the future of international higher education. Would the COVID-19 adversely impact international education and student mobility? This quantitative study examined the Mainland China and Hong Kong students’ studying abroad expectations after the pandemic. Among the 2,739 respondents, 84 percent showed no interest in studying abroad after the pandemic.

For those respondents who will still pursue further degrees abroad, Asian regions and countries, especially Hong Kong, Japan, and Taiwan, are listed in the top five, in addition to the US and the UK. While the pandemic has significantly decreased international student mobility, it is also shifting the mobility flow of international students, and East Asian countries and regions are facing more opportunities in the increasingly competitive higher education sector for international students. This article also indicates the current global health crisis would intensify social and economic inequalities across different higher education systems when some countries fail to maintain the scale of international learning because of different economic recovery paces in the COVID-19 era.
Original languageEnglish
Place of PublicationOxford
PublisherCentre for Global Higher Education (CGHE)
Number of pages36
Publication statusPublished - Sep 2020

Publication series

NameCentre for Global Higher Education (CGHE) Working Paper Series
PublisherCentre for Global Higher Education
No.54
ISSN (Electronic)2398-564X

Bibliographical note

This work was supported by the Economic and Social Research Council grants ES/M010082/1; and ES/P005292/1

Keywords

  • Studying abroad
  • Transnational higher education
  • COVID-19 pandemic
  • Student mobility

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