Developing a sense of belonging among ethnic minority youth in Hong Kong: Challenges and opportunities

Ming Tak HUE, Shahid KARIM

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlespeer-review

Abstract

Purpose: Developing a sense of belonging among immigrant youth in multicultural contexts has attracted significant attention from scholars during the last few decades. Studies have already underscored how various educational factors hinder or facilitate students’ sense of belonging to the school or the larger society. Although most students in Hong Kong schools are ethnic Chinese, a significant number of non-Chinese children make students diversity an essential aspect of schooling. The study investigated how schools can develop a sense of belonging among ethnic minority youth in Hong Kong. 

Design/methodology/approach: As the education system in Hong Kong lacks a multicultural education policy, how can schools help develop a sense of belonging to the school and the larger society among young ethnic minority people? To answer this question, this paper consolidates the two sets of data originally gathered for two research projects. The data was collected through semi-structured in-depth interviews with nine secondary school teachers (Chinese and non-Chinese) and 15 students (non-Chinese) and analysed thematically. 

Findings: The thematic analysis of the qualitative data identified several challenges and opportunities for developing ethnic minority students’ sense of belonging in Hong Kong. 

Research limitations/implications: Researchers in comparative education can further explore how multicultural education and inclusive education approach together can help ensure inclusive and equitable quality education for all and cater to students' diverse learning needs across the education systems. 

Practical implications: Given that the aims of multicultural education and inclusive education resonate with each other, schools can focus on the Whole School Approach to developing a sense of belonging among ethnic minority youth in Hong Kong. However, policymakers and practitioners may need to adopt a multifaceted perspective on inclusive education that strives to ensure equitable quality education for all. 

Originality/value: The study contributes to the existing body of scholarship on multicultural education and inclusive education. The study findings underscore the importance of an interdisciplinary research framework in education and advocate an integrative approach to supporting students with diverse learning needs in multicultural contexts. Copyright © 2024 Emerald Publishing Limited.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)56-75
JournalInternational Journal of Comparative Education and Development
Volume26
Issue number1
Early online dateFeb 2024
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Feb 2024

Citation

Hue, M. T., & Karim, S. (2024). Developing a sense of belonging among ethnic minority youth in Hong Kong: Challenges and opportunities. International Journal of Comparative Education and Development, 26(1), 56-75. https://doi.org/10.1108/IJCED-05-2023-0034

Keywords

  • Hong Kong
  • Multicultural education
  • Inclusive education
  • Sense of belonging
  • Ethnic minority students

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