Studying where the jobs are: Mainland Chinese students in Hong Kong

Wai Wa Timothy YUEN, Chi Keung Alan CHEUNG, Ping Man WONG

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlespeer-review

3 Citations (Scopus)


Purpose: Mainland students are a major source of international student applications. Some countries have initiated policies to enable Mainland students to stay and work after graduation. Additions to the literature, particularly more country-specific studies, are much needed to cast light on the employment issues for such Mainland students overseas. This paper helps to fill this gap by focusing on Mainland students who have completed teacher education programmes in Hong Kong and then served as teachers in Hong Kong schools (Mainland teachers). The incentives that attracted them to stay and work in Hong Kong and the challenges they faced were examined. Their future plans were also probed. Design/methodology/approach: The study adopted a mixed methodology. Data collection comprised of both a questionnaire survey and interviews. The semi-structured interviews provided opportunities for respondents to explain their answers, to narrate and widen the scope of data to areas hitherto unanticipated by the researchers. Findings: Mainland teachers were attracted to stay on in Hong Kong to work for both intrinsic and extrinsic reasons. They were in fact settlers. They found the programmes they had taken to be practical and believed that they had acquired a niche situation in the teaching profession. Working and living in Hong Kong was satisfying, but some experienced social distance from local colleagues. Originality/value: Our paper can be read with reference to countries that recruit Mainland students and there is a possibility that some of them may stay behind to work. It sheds light on the selection criteria of such students, on ways to enrich their programmes, as well as their employment, living, and social integration issues. Copyright © 2017 Emerald Publishing Limited.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)290-302
JournalAsian Education and Development Studies
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 2017


Yuen, T. W. W., Cheung, A. C. K., & Wong, P. M. (2017). Studying where the jobs are: Mainland Chinese students in Hong Kong. Asian Education and Development Studies, 6(3), 290-302.


  • Chinese students
  • Employment
  • Hong Kong
  • Teachers


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