A Semi-systematic Review of Historical Motives for Chinese Student Enrollment in Western Tertiary Level Educational Institutions


  • Piotr Curtis Stamford International University
  • Vincent Edouard


Chinese international students, Chinese history, Motives, Studying abroad, Tertiary education, Preferences


          Over the past decade, there has been an unprecedented increase in the number of tertiary-level students from China studying abroad, especially in Western countries. However, the history of Chinese students in the West dates back to the mid-1800s. The aim of this paper was to produce a semi-systematic review of relevant literature to understand how over time, historical events have influenced motives for Chinese student to study in the West. Results were that motives may be generally classified as the opportunity a) to acquire wealth and stature at home; b) to permanently relocate to the West; and c) for exposure to new perspectives, ideas, and experiences. Most motives resulted from historical events negatively affecting the Chinese economic, cultural, and educational systems. In addition, safety was another important factor since the Novel Coronavirus 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic, which popularized alternative destinations outside the West. Some researchers have argued that Chinese students were gradually turning to alternative destinations even before the pandemic. Suggested topics for future research include changes in perceived importance of university rankings, reasons for choosing alternative study destinations, and whether student expectations were met after enrolling in traditional Western or alternative tertiary study destinations.


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How to Cite

Curtis, P., & Vincent Edouard. (2022). A Semi-systematic Review of Historical Motives for Chinese Student Enrollment in Western Tertiary Level Educational Institutions. Thai Journal of East Asian Studies, 26(1), 108–127. Retrieved from https://so02.tci-thaijo.org/index.php/easttu/article/view/250568



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