Reaching Across the Strait: Contact Hypothesis in the Context of Chinese University Students in Taiwan

  • Chuing Prudence Chou
Part of the Education Innovation Series book series (EDIN)


Recent changes in the political atmosphere between China and Taiwan have allowed for the recruitment of Chinese university students in Taiwan. Since September 2011, thousands of Chinese degree-seeking students have been admitted to Taiwanese universities. While short-term cross-strait educational exchange programs began in the late 1990s and increased over the years, the enrolment of Chinese degree-seeking students marks a new milestone in the development of cross-strait relations. Despite the political and ideological rivalry between China and Taiwan, studies show that cross-strait educational exchanges have enhanced mutual understanding and changed attitudes of people on both sides. This chapter uses the four conditions of Allport’s contact hypothesis – equal status, common goals, intergroup cooperation, and support by authorities – as a theoretical lens for understanding the experiences of Chinese university students studying in Taiwan, focusing in particular on how the cultural and educational exchanges affect the individuals involved as well as their societies and cross-strait relations more broadly. It argues that the four conditions have each been met to varying extents and explores the ways in which the exchanges have and have not achieved this. It also finds that the exchanges have been influential for those involved but that they will have to continue for longer before their effects on policies or the political discourse on cross-strait relations will become apparent.


Cross-strait relations Chinese university students Contact hypothesis Cultural exchange Educational exchange Taiwanese universities 


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Copyright information

© Springer Nature Singapore Pte Ltd. 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Chuing Prudence Chou
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of EducationNational Chengchi UniversityTaipeiTaiwan

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