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Lingnan College research finds one in 5 Mainland Chinese language college college students are contemplating postgraduate research overseas after pandemic

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HONG KONG, Aug. 4, 2021 /PRNewswire/ — COVID-19 appears to be easing in Mainland China and Hong Kong. In June, the School of Graduate Studies of Lingnan University (LU) in Hong Kong conducted a follow-up survey based on last year’s Understanding Hong Kong and Mainland university students’ intentions to study overseas after the COVID-19 crisis, to get to know Mainland university students’ views on pursuing postgraduate studies abroad before, during, and after the pandemic.

The online survey’s 2,036 valid responses show that while 78 per cent (78.1%) of respondents had no interest in studying abroad before the pandemic, nearly 22 per cent (21.9%) would now consider pursuing further education overseas. The top five most popular destinations (more than one may be selected) are the US (50.8%), the UK (45.2%), Japan (19.1%), Canada (16.9%) and Germany (14.4%). Hong Kong was ranked 8th (11%), behind France and Australia. The five least-preferred study destinations are Poland (0.5%), Taiwan (1.1%), Malaysia (2.7%), Macau (3.4%), and New Zealand (6.3%).

When asked whether the global pandemic will affect their intention to pursue further degrees abroad, over 90 per cent (91.75%) of respondents showed no interest in studying abroad. The top three push factors are “my parents would be concerned about my safety and health during the pandemic if I were studying abroad” (85.2%), “I myself would be worried about my safety and health during the pandemic” (84.2%), and “I am afraid I would not be able to get home during the pandemic” (81.4%).

For respondents (8.25%) wishing to pursue postgraduate degrees abroad, the top three push factors are “the university I prefer can provide a high-quality student learning experience” (80.9%), “the university I prefer has a strong international reputation” (80.4%), and “a foreign university degree will help me to stand out in the fiercely competitive job market” (72.1%). The top five most popular destinations are the UK (42.3%), the US (41.1%), Canada (23.2%), Japan (20.8%), Germany (17.3%), and France (17.3%). Hong Kong was ranked 6th (16.1%). The five least-preferred study destinations are Poland (3%), Taiwan (4.2%), Macau (4.2%), Malaysia (4.8%), Italy (7.1%), and New Zealand (7.1%).

More than 20 per cent (20.9%) of respondents would consider studying abroad when the pandemic ends. The top five most popular destinations are the US (45.5%), the UK (43.7%), Japan (23.9%), Canada (21.6%), and Germany (20.2%). Hong Kong came 9th (13.9%), behind France, Australia and Singapore. Again, Poland (2.1%), Malaysia (3.3%), Taiwan (4%), Macau (5.9%), New Zealand (9.4%), and Italy (9.4%) are the five least-preferred study destinations.

Prof Joshua Mok Ka-ho, Vice-President of Lingnan University in Hong Kong, who led the study, said that no significant difference was found in students’ plans to study overseas before, during, or after the pandemic. East Asian countries and regions including Japan, Singapore, South Korea, and Hong Kong, however, do have more opportunities to recruit international students in these challenging times. For example, 16 per cent (16.1%) of respondents selected Hong Kong as a destination for further studies while the pandemic continues, and nearly 14 per cent (13.9%) said that they plan to pursue postgraduate studies in Hong Kong after the pandemic, which is comparable to Australia and Singapore.

Prof Mok added that universities’ achievements in research and internationalisation may become a key consideration in recruiting students from the Mainland. The encouraging results and performance of local universities in the latest international rankings and the Research Assessment Exercise (RAE) 2020 will attract more students wishing to pursue their postgraduate programmes abroad to Hong Kong.

For media enquiries, please contact the Office of Communications and Public Affairs of Lingnan University:

Ms Blue Wong
Senior Communications and Public Affairs Officer
Office of Communications and Public Affairs
Lingnan University
Tel: 2616 8964 / 9280 3381
Fax: 2838 1601
Email: [email protected]

Ms Bernice Wong
Manager (Communications & Public Affairs)
Office of Communications and Public Affairs
Lingnan University
Tel: 2616 8988 / 6676 6956
Fax: 2838 1601
Email: [email protected]

SOURCE Lingnan University (LU)



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