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Factors influencing international students' trajectories: a comparative study of Chinese students in Japan and Australia

Tongrui Liu (School of Environment and Society, Tokyo Institute of Technology, Tokyo, Japan)
Yuriko Sato (School of Environment and Society, Tokyo Institute of Technology, Tokyo, Japan)
Jeremy Breaden (School of Languages, Literatures, Cultures and Linguistics, Monash University, Melbourne, Australia)

International Journal of Comparative Education and Development

ISSN: 2396-7404

Article publication date: 11 January 2023

Issue publication date: 13 March 2023

453

Abstract

Purpose

This study aims to compare Chinese students' educational and career trajectories in Japan and Australia and to explore the factors that have influenced their choices that shaped their trajectories.

Design/methodology/approach

The authors applied the push-pull and life planning models to compare the factors that shaped the Chinese students' trajectories in Japan and Australia. The mixed-method approach was adopted by combining the result of 353 questionnaire responses and ten semi-structured interviews of Chinese international graduates to understand the factors influencing their decision-makings when choosing a study destination, a workplace and a place for settlement. The authors also interviewed six human resources managers of local companies to understand how Chinese international graduates are evaluated in the host country's labor market.

Findings

When choosing a study destination, cultural interest and inexpensive tuition fees are the pull factors for Japan, while family and friends' recommendations are strong motivations in choosing Australia. After graduation, utilization of capacity/specialty is a pull factor to work in Japan, while the prospect of promotion, good living environment and consideration for spouse/parents/children are the pull factors for Australia. Chinese graduates in Australia have stronger aspiration to remain in their study destination.

Originality/value

Since there are few cross-national studies on international students' trajectories, this study filled the research gap by comparing the trajectories of Chinese students in Japan and Australia and clarifying the factors that shaped them.

Keywords

Citation

Liu, T., Sato, Y. and Breaden, J. (2023), "Factors influencing international students' trajectories: a comparative study of Chinese students in Japan and Australia", International Journal of Comparative Education and Development, Vol. 25 No. 1, pp. 23-39. https://doi.org/10.1108/IJCED-08-2022-0060

Publisher

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Emerald Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2022, Emerald Publishing Limited

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