Cross-Border Higher Education for Identity Investment: Cases of Malaysian and Indonesian Ethnic Chinese Students in Hong Kong

  • Pik Lin ChoiEmail author
  • Sylvia Yee Fan Tang
Part of the Education in the Asia-Pacific Region: Issues, Concerns and Prospects book series (EDAP, volume 28)


This article reports the results of a case study involving two ethnic Chinese students, one from Malaysia and one from Indonesia, who chose to pursue higher education in Hong Kong. By placing the students at the centre of an investigation of the social, political, economic and educational contexts of their home countries and host territory, the study sought to gain a holistic understanding of cross-border mobility. The findings suggested that the students’ personal backgrounds and dispositions mediated the external push-pull factors involved in their decisions. The data showed that the two students’ cross-border mobility allowed them to redefine their ethnic identities and create global academic and professional identities. The implications of the purposes of cross-border mobility and methods for examining student mobility are discussed.


Higher education Cross-border mobility Identity Hong Kong Indonesia Malaysia Ethnic Chinese Life history method 



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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Singapore 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Education Policy and LeadershipThe Hong Kong Institute of EducationTai PoHong Kong SAR

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