Neither “local” nor “global”: Chinese university students’ identity paradoxes in the internationalization of higher education

Rui YUAN, Sifei LI*, Baohua YU

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Journal PublicationsJournal Article (refereed)peer-review

18 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

While previous research has explored the social and academic experiences of international students when studying abroad, limited attention has been paid to local students and their adaptation to the internationalization of higher education. To fill this gap, the present study, adopting identity as an analytic lens, examined a group of Chinese university students’ perceptions and experiences in an internationalized curriculum in China. The findings show that the participants tried to interpret, construct, and refine their individual, academic, and cultural identities on a daily basis. In particular, they encountered and negotiated with three identity paradoxes, i.e., between “dedicated learners” and “disoriented bees”, between “global citizens” and “proud Chinese”, and between “team players” and “independent fighters”. The study provides useful implications for university management, teachers, and students in response to the ongoing trend of internationalization of higher education.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)963-978
Number of pages16
JournalHigher Education
Volume77
Issue number6
Early online date25 Sep 2018
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jun 2019
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • Chinese students
  • Identity paradoxes
  • Internationalization of higher education

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