This article takes a policy-as-discourse approach to understanding how Chinese policy texts construct international students. This is important given the growth of China as a study destination, and the fact that the majority of the studies on Chinese internationalisation policy are descriptive, and poorly integrated with literature focused on other contexts. Drawing upon a thematic analysis of 19 policy texts, the article reveals that economic rationales are absent in the policy texts; it also reveals five somewhat contradictory ways in which international students are constructed in policies: As ‘para-diplomats’ and ‘future elites’, but also as sources of ‘mutual exchange’, of ‘insufficient quality’ and finally, as requiring ‘guidance’ to understand Chinese laws. The article also discusses these constructions and problems with the assumptions within them, and how such problems could be thought about differently, with reference to the ‘critical internationalisation studies’ literature developed largely with a focus on the Global North. Copyright © 2020 Informa UK Limited, trading as Taylor & Francis Group.
CitationMulvey, B., & Lo, W. Y. W. (2021). Learning to ‘tell China's story well’: The constructions of international students in Chinese higher education policy. Globalisation, Societies and Education, 19(5), 545-557. doi: 10.1080/14767724.2020.1835465
- International student mobility
- PG student publication