Self-financing higher education institutions (SfHEIs) in Hong Kong help boost the local higher education participation rate, but they are labeled as second-tier opportunities for those with academic weaknesses. Students at SfHEIs may develop a negative self-concept that deteriorates their academic performance and psychological wellness. Therefore, it is critical to understand their self-concept and how it is built. From the narrative perspective, a self-concept is the storied experiences or stories that are lived; therefore, this study employs narrative inquiry using 15 SfHEI students to represent the general pattern of the participants’ experiences. This study proves that students at SfHEIs tend to view themselves as losers or inferiors based on their low self-evaluations of their Hong Kong Diploma of Secondary Education Examination (HKDSE) results, SfHEIs, and career futures. Additionally, this study sheds new light that the loser identity is historically developed from childhood during interactions with parents and teachers, as parents and teachers continuously reinforce the message that enrollment at a publicly funded university is the only way to achieve success in life. Copyright © 2022 by the authors.
CitationTsang, K. K., Li, G., Tang, H.-H. H., & Wang, X. (2022). Stories to live by: Narrative understandings of the self-concept of students at self-financing higher education institutions in Hong Kong. Sustainability, 14(20). Retrieved from https://doi.org/10.3390/su142013059
- Higher education