To Stay or Not to Stay in Hong Kong: An Examination of Mainland Chinese Undergraduates’ After-Graduation Plans

  • Xuesong GaoEmail author
Part of the Education in the Asia-Pacific Region: Issues, Concerns and Prospects book series (EDAP, volume 28)


Recent decades have witnessed a dramatic rise in the cross-border flow of students in search of information, knowledge and credentials. This has far-reaching academic, financial and social consequences for students and their host communities. Drawing on Ajzen’s (1991) theory of planned behaviour, this study explored a group of mainland Chinese undergraduates’ decisions and plans for their careers and lives beyond graduation from a major university in Hong Kong. Twenty-three mainland Chinese undergraduates participated in in-depth interviews about their educational experiences and the plans they had after graduation in Hong Kong. Analysis of the data revealed that most of the participants considered Hong Kong as a transition point in their lives and had no intention to settle down permanently in the city, confirming the impression that these ‘elite’ students were highly mobile or ‘floating’. In other words, they considered their educational experiences as contributing factors to the realisation of their transnational aspirations. The transnational nature of these students’ educational migration suggests that host communities such as Hong Kong consider them as not only potential human resources for the local economy but also part of their expanding social networks, which are strategically important for these communities to enhance their global influence.


Internationalisation Cross-border student migration Transnationalism Theory of planned behaviour 



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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Singapore 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.The Faculty of EducationThe University of Hong KongHong Kong IslandHong Kong

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