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Hong Kong Students on the Mainland:A Brief Report Zixiao YANG SOSC,HKUST Emilie TRAN University of Saint Joseph, Macao 28 April 2010
Number of Hong Kong, Macau and Taiwan Students in Mainland High Education Institutions (2004-2007) Source: Online Database of Ministry of Education, PRC
Key Findings • 1. HK students demonstrate some degree of psychological, social and cultural integration. But they mostly remain unchanged in political attitudes. • 2. Inter-cities differences largely determine students’ degree of integration. • 3. Concerns: insufficient information; peer pressure; future career.
Sampling • Three places: Beijing (BJ), Guangdong (GD) and Hong Kong (HK) as comparison group. • Thirteen universities in BJ and GD, three universities in Hong Kong. Including top universities like Tsinghua and Peking Univ., and middle-ranking ones like Jinan Univ. • Size: 100 in BJ, 121 in GD and 162 in HK.
Background Information • Birth Place: 55% in Mainland; 43% in HK. • Major: 38% Economy and Management; 35% Humanity, Social Science and Law; 25% Science, Engineering and Medical. • Expenditure: 1,341 yuan per month on average. • HK students usually come from a family in which: 1) the father either runs a company (35%) or is an company manager/professional (28%). 2) the mother is a housewife (36%). 3) the family income: 9,000-15,000 yuan per month (26%); 15,000-30,000 yuan (29%)
1. The Why? For what reasons do HK students go study on the mainland?
2. The How? How is their life on the mainland and how do they adapt psychologically and socio-culturally?
Connectedness through the mediaComparing students’ connectedness through the media (%)
Do you think mutual understanding might be a problem for Hong Kong youth going to study on the mainland? (%) Connectedness through social interactions1) A prejudice-less environment Feeling isolated? (%) Feeling different? (%)
Connectedness through social interactions1) A prejudice-less environment2) A pro-active attitude Learning Putonghua as a must whenstudying on the mainland (%) You wish to understand mainland people (%)
On the mainland, where are your friends from? (%) Connectedness through social interactions1) A prejudice-less environment2) A pro-active attitude3) That favor mingling with mainlanders Sharing feelings with either mainland or Hong Kong friends (%) Participating in social activities (%)
Overall… Our survey has revealed: an overall smooth integration into the mainland for the majority of the Hong Kong students stationed there, which is favored by a prejudice-less environment, an open-minded outlook and a pro-active attitude in mingling with mainlanders that indicate not only the goodwill but also the rapprochement in progress of the Hong Kong youth towards the mainland and its people. • Hong Kong students on the mainland remain generally well connected firstly to the world beyond their campus life through the media and secondly to their peers through actual social interactions, befriending with both mainlanders and Hong Kong peers as well as participating in social activities.
Some concerns though, mainly related to… Everyday life:— safety— language barrierAcademic life:No.1:Excessive stress in studying (38%);No.2: Worrying that they would be unable to find a satisfying job after graduation (28%);No.3 Worrying that mainland diploma might not be recognized in HKSAR (20%).Insufficient information: students usually have enough information about the mainland but lack information about particular universities. While (if [for HK]) studying on the mainland, are (would be [for HK]) the following items a concern to you? (%) While studying on the mainland, are (would be [for HK]) the following items a concern to you? (%)
3. And Then? To what extent their mainland experience may affect Hong Kong students’ political outlook and identity perception?
— HK students do not think the mainland government will become service-oriented in the near future.— HK students feel more empowered to influence the government’s decision in the SAR. How confident are you in the mainland government to evolve into a “service-oriented government” in the next 3 to 5 years? (%) Comparing HKSAR and the mainland, where do you have the more capacity to influence the government’s decisions in your own interests? (%) Comparing HKSAR and the mainland, where do you have the more capacity to influence the government’s decisions in your own interest? (in%)
— The mainland experience does change somehow their identity perception.— Those without any experience on the mainland are much less prone to consider another place than Hong Kong to live. To what extent working or studying on the mainland could affect the identity of the Hong Kong people? (%) Where would you like to live in the next 15 to 20 years? (%)
What is your identity? Students with mainland experience are more prone to perceive themselves as Chinese.
Policy recommendation 1. Provide students with information about their target universities before their going to the mainland. 2. Offer career information to students studying on the mainland. 3. Organize inter-universities activities. 4. Provide support or extra-training in mathematics before their going to the mainland (summer time).