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Practices and challenges of internationalization of higher education in China; international students’ perspective: A case study of Beijing Normal University

Frank Okai Larbi (Institute of International and Comparative Education, Beijing Normal University, Beijing, China)
Wangqian Fu (Institute of Special Education, Beijing Normal University, Beijing, China)

International Journal of Comparative Education and Development

ISSN: 2396-7404

Article publication date: 8 May 2017

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of the paper is to conceptualize international students’ perception on the internationalization of higher education in China and identify some challenges faced by some of the higher educational institutions (HEIs) in their internationalization practice.

Design/methodology/approach

This study utilized the qualitative research method, specifically, the researchers employed structured interview for investigation. The population of this research includes 15 international students and five Chinese professors teaching in BNU. Participants’ responses were categorized to provide a better understanding of the subject of study.

Findings

This study identified some push-pull factors that influenced international students’ decision making to pursue their studies in China. Some of the push factors identified include the high cost of graduate education, unavailability of some academic courses in some students’ home countries, international exposure, and unemployment, whereas the pull factors identified constitute scholarship opportunities, an alliance between BNU and others foreign universities, global job opportunity, universities’ prestige, and ranking, Chinese history and culture, and technological advancement. Finally, the challenges discovered are professors and students’ relationship, language barrier, separation of international and Chinese students, and lack of internship opportunities.

Research limitations/implications

This study provides an in-depth understanding of the case presented and has outlined some key areas to be improved in the internationalization process of Chinese HEIs. Further studies in this area are encouraged to critically analyze foreign faculty members’ experiences and contributions to Chinese internationalization of HE process in different institutions and provide a substantial framework to help mitigate some of the challenges that will emerge.

Originality/value

This research collated and addressed the lived experiences and perception on matters relevant for international practices by Chinese HEIs. Researchers have explained the assumptions and theory used in this study to better understanding the issues that emerged.

Keywords

Citation

Larbi, F.O. and Fu, W. (2017), "Practices and challenges of internationalization of higher education in China; international students’ perspective: A case study of Beijing Normal University", International Journal of Comparative Education and Development, Vol. 19 No. 2/3, pp. 78-96. https://doi.org/10.1108/IJCED-12-2016-0025

Publisher

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Emerald Publishing Limited

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