What motivates Chinese women to study in the UK and how do they perceive their experience?

Matt A Bamber

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle (Academic Journal)peer-review

32 Citations (Scopus)


This paper addresses two crucial questions facing the UK HE sector: what motivates female Chinese globally-mobile graduates to continue their education in the UK?; and, are they satisfied with their experience? First, this mixed methods study revealed that the primary motivations were: early and mid-career gains; competitive advantages derived from completing a one-year master's programme; favourable exchange rates; and the opportunity to travel. Alongside these, a number of challenges and concerns were also noted, including: high UK tuition fees and living costs; shifting Chinese employer perceptions of an overseas education; and punitive UK visa regulations. Second, findings indicated mid- to high levels of satisfaction with the experience. In particular students believed that the main strengths and benefits of a UK-based education related to the high levels of tutorial participation and interaction as well as to the development of interpretation and application skills. Nevertheless, respondents reported that there are many ways in which we need to improve, such as by: offering clearer language guidance; closing the assessment requirements expectations gap; offering more opportunities for classroom participation; cutting class sizes; reducing fees; and ironically, attracting students from geographical zones other than China to facilitate academic development and programme diversity.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)47-68
Number of pages21
JournalHigher Education
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Jul 2014

Bibliographical note

Although this has been deemed accept with Higher Education, there are minor amendments required which mean that this is not guaranteed to appear in print at this journal.


  • International Students
  • Postgraduate Education in UK


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