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Reimaging Chinese Globally Mobile Students: Political Subjects in the Making

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Abstract

This chapter argues for reimaging Chinese students as political subjects in the making during their global mobility, an image different from the three primary images (i.e., learners across cultures, consumers of international education market, and important human capital) that existing literature on international higher education has projected onto these students. The argument is mainly based on the connection between globally mobile Chinese people and China’s democratic development as manifested by the review of the history of China’s democratization in three periods: the Late Qing Period (1840 AD–1911 AD), the Republican Period (1912 AD–1949 AD), and the Socialist Period (1949 AD—present). Against the backdrop of the massive flow of Chinese students pursuing higher education abroad in the twenty-first century, and informed by their predecessors’ important contributions to theories and practices regarding Chinese democracy, the chapter concludes by suggesting three key thematic areas that may underpin the long-overdue inquiry into Chinese students’ formation as political subjects during their global mobility: (1). their lived experience of transition from the sociopolitical context of their home country to that of their host countries, (2). their meaning making of democracy, and (3). their engagement with democratic practices in host countries.

Keywords

Chinese students Higher education International education International students 

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© Springer Nature Singapore Pte Ltd. 2020

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.University of British ColumbiaVancouverCanada

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