International student mobility has been becoming varied and complex. Chinese higher education institutions (HEIs) host about 492,185 international students in 2018, sharing 10 percent of globally mobile students. The purpose of the study was to promote understanding of factors that influence international students choose to earn academic degree in Chinese HEIs. The econometric approach was applied to identify factors that influence international student mobility in China. The total inflow of international students, the inflow of students from both developing and developed countries, and international students with undergraduate, master’s and doctoral academic programs are taken as predicted variables. The political, economic, academic, socio-cultural factors were chosen as explanatory variables. From the sample data of 60 countries of origin, our data covers more than 89% of total international students earn academic degrees in Chinese HEIs during the period 2007 to 2016. The results indicated some differences in determinants of undergraduate students, master’s students and doctoral students from developing and developed countries choose to study in China. The economic development level between China and the countries of origin and their bilateral trade relations are important economic factors that affect international students, and the impact on undergraduate students is more significant. The Chinese government scholarship policies and mutual recognition of academic degrees have been effectively promoted inward international students. Compared with undergraduate students, the academic ranking of Chinese universities has more significant influences on master’s students and doctoral students. The geographical distance and cultural distance between China and the countries of origin are important social and cultural factors. International students from developed countries are more influenced by cultural distance factor.
International Student Mobility, Study in China, Determinants
Altbach P.G., Engberg D. (2014) Global student mobility: The changing landscape. Int Higher Edu, 77:11-13.
Beine M., Noël R., Ragot L. (2014) Determinants of the international mobility of students. Econ Edu Rev, 41: 40-54.
Bouwel L.V., Veugelers R. (2013) The determinants of student mobility in Europe: The quality dimension. Eur J Higher Edu, 3(2):172-190.
Choudaha R. (2017) Three waves of international student mobility (1999–2020). Stud Higher Edu, 42(5):825-832.
De W.H. (2010) Internationalisation of higher education in Europe and its assessment, trends and issues. Accreditation Organisation of the Netherlands and Flanders Publishing, 7-8.
Gonzalez C.R., Mesanza R.B., Mariel, P. (2011) The determinants of international students mobility flows: an empirical study on the Erasmus Programmer. Higher Edu, 62(4): 413-430.
Hao W. (2013) An empirical study on the determinants of international student mobility: a global perspective. Higher Edu, 66:105-122.
Levatino A. (2017) Transnational higher education and international student mobility: determinants and linkage: A panel data analysis of enrolment in Australian higher education. Higher Edu, 73: 637-653.
Ministry of Education (2018) Statistics of International Students in China 2018.
Perkins R., Neumayer E. (2014) Geographies of educational mobilities: Exploring the uneven flows of international students. Geograph J, 180(3):246-259.
Song H., Liu L. (2014) Why do foreign students choose to study in China: An empirical study based on the gravity model. J Higher Edu, 35(11):31-38.
Wang C., Chen C. (2018) Factors affecting the postgraduates from the Belt and Road countries to study in China: based on the macro data analysis. J Higher Edu Manag, 12(3):34-42.
Zheng P. (2014) Antecedents to international student inflows to UK higher education: A comparative analysis. J Busin Res, 67(2):136-143.
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License.