The Consortium for Higher Education Research in Asia (CHERA) (Chair: Professor Gerard A. Postiglione), the Comparative Education Research Centre (CERC) and the Social Contexts and Policies of Education (SCAPE) host a series of forums for post-doc researchers and doctoral students in Asia who are studying in the field of higher education. The forums aim to identify common challenges in Asian higher education, build a vibrant and sustainable network, and strengthen the research collaboration among emerging scholars in higher education. The forums cover a broad range of issues in Asian higher education including higher education and science policy, teaching and learning, student experience, equity/access, quality assurance, internationalization, and privatization and finance. On-going researches (project or dissertations) and recently published works are all welcome to be presented and discussed. Both individual/co-presentations and panel discussion formats are welcome. The forums are conducted in English via an online platform.

Anyone who is interested in presenting their research, please contact the coordinators: Dr Jisun Jung ( and Mr Huan Li ( Please send the (tentative) title, abstract (150 words), and a bio (50 words).

If you have any inquiries about the seminar/consortium, please contact us

Co-organizers: SCAPE, CHERA, CERC

What We've Done ...

Success Factors of International Branch Campus Operation: Comparative Analysis Between Korea and Japan

Chair:  Dr Hugo Horta, The University of Hong Kong

Speakers: Mr Kyuseok Kim, Ms Yiru Ke, Korea University



Korea and Japan have rarely been highlighted as the significant base for transnational higher education compared to the largest host countries in Middle East and Southeast Asia, and China. This research aims to conduct a comparative analysis of the development and success factor of the international branch campuses (IBCs) in Korea and Japan. The researchers conduct in-depth personal interviews with IBC professionals and experts in international education to explore how these IBCs survived the persistent challenges and grasped opportunities over the past decade(s) from a comparative perspective. The research questions that inform this study are: (1) How were the US IBCs in Korea/Japan established? (2) What were the motivations for establishing IBCs in Korea/Japan? (3) What are the success factors of the IBCs in Korea/Japan? To address the questions above, this study intends to examine the cases of US IBCs in Korea/Japan. Ultimately, this research is to find valuable implications and policy recommendations for the successful operation of the IBCs, or other forms of TNHE, in Northeast Asia.


Kyuseok Kim is a doctoral student at Korea University in the Department of Education with a concentration in higher education administration; he earned B.A. in English Language Education at Korea University and MBA at Sungkyunkwan University; he has over 13-year experience in international higher education at a research university and a U.S. branch campus in Korea.

Yiru Ke is a doctoral student at Korea University in the Department of Education with a concentration in higher education; earned M.A. in Education at University College London.

Meet the Editors: Studies in Continuing Education

Chair: Dr Jisun Jung, The University of Hong Kong


Prof David Boud, Deakin University

Prof Nick Hopwood, University of Technology Sydney


Studies in Continuing Education, published by Taylor & Francis, is a scholarly journal concerned with all aspects of continuing, professional and lifelong learning. In this Webinar, the journal editors will introduce the aims, scope, and review criteria of Studies in Continuing Education. The speakers will share their experiences in peer review as an editor, reviewer, and author and advise early career researchers on best publishing practices in the international peer-reviewed journal.

Please find the detailed information of the journal here:


David Boud is Alfred Deakin Professor and Foundation Director of the Centre for Research on Assessment and Digital Learning at Deakin University, Melbourne, Australia. As one of the highest cited researchers in Education (Google Scholar h-index 101), his research focuses on adult, higher and professional education.

Nick Hopwood is a Professor at the University of Technology Sydney, Australia. He is co-convenor of the Life-wide Learning & Education Research Group. His research focuses on workplace learning, teacher learning, inter-professional health practice, and health professional education.

A Practical Guide for Capturing the New Opportunities and Potential in the Greater Bay Area Initiatives

Chair: Dr Jisun Jung, the University of Hong Kong

Speaker: Ngan Chi Lee, Christy



The Greater Bay Area (GBA) development is an ambitious development plan and an extent of the further opening of China’s reform. Aiming for global, regional economic integration and development of formal institutions and power based on transfers of sovereignty in history, the outstanding education, economic, social, and political significance of the GBA plan makes it competitive with other bay areas around the world. To achieve long-term economic prosperity and stable political environments, Guangdong, Shenzhen, Hong Kong, and Macao have unique opportunities and distinctive roles to contribute to market growth, stability of security, and global competitiveness. This study offered a literature-based and empirical analysis of the strengths and weaknesses, evaluation of integration effectiveness, and roles and responsibilities of the GBA development sectoral actors from Hong Kong’s perspective. The study demonstrated the contribution of each sectoral actor. Despite the economic and technological brightness of the GBA development, social implications, such as public trust and policy transparency, are essential to unleash the potential of the GBA development fully.


Christy obtained her master’s degree from the Faculty of Education, University of Hong Kong. Her research interests include globalization and international collaborations in higher learning, and she is particularly interested in exploring questions of regional integration and cooperation in higher education.

Emerging Resources of China’s Soft Power: A Case Study of Cambodian Participants from Chinese Higher Education Programs

Chair: Dr Yang Lilithe University of Hong Kong

Speaker: Dr Zhu Kejin, the University of Hong Kong



Along with its unprecedented economic rise over the past several decades, debates about China’s soft power push have become heated. Yet, consensus on what exactly constitutes China’s soft power has not been reached. In a much-altered context of China’s recent grand initiatives, the prism of higher education and the region of Southeast Asia both are uniquely significant for interpreting its soft power agenda. This article aims to capture the recent dynamics through the experiences of Cambodian participants from China’s higher education programs. The evidence identifies four emerging resources of Chinese soft power: contemporary life appeal, advancement in science and technology, STEM education reputation, and economic development model. It further highlights the Belt and Road Initiative as a stimulus for amplifying the influence of the Chinese development model in Southeast Asia, whereas China’s domestic coordination of different players and an ideal mix of soft power resources still have not been formulated.

Citation: Zhu, K.* & Yang, R. (2022). China’s emerging soft power resources in Southeast Asia: A Case Study of Cambodian Participants from Chinese Higher Education Programs. Higher Education Policy


Dr ZHU Kejin is a postdoctoral fellow at the Faculty of Education, University of Hong Kong. Her dissertation combines soft power and neo-tributary lens to decipher China’s strategies for global rise. Her previous research examines university-industry interactions in the Greater Bay Area and organizational innovations of Chinese neo-type research universities.

Choosing Chinese Universities: A Negotiated Choice for Hong Kong Students 

Chair: Dr Jisun Jung, the University of Hong Kong

Discussant: Prof Gerard A Postiglione, the University of Hong Kong

Speaker: Dr Alice Te, the University of Hong Kong



During the pandemic, students travelling to study cross the border seem to be difficult. However, the latest news reported that the number of undergraduate students from Mainland China studying in Hong Kong universities rose to a record high in the last academic year. On the other direction, the number of Hong Kong students seeking to study at universities in Mainland China also reached the highest level of the decade this year. This webinar aims at unpacking the complex dynamics of Hong Kong students’ choice in pursuing undergraduate education at the universities of Mainland China. Drawing on an empirical study based on a book with interviews of 51 students, five universities staff members, seven secondary schools principals/teachers, this seminar will investigate how macro political/economic factors, institutional influences, parental influence, and students’ personal motivations have shaped students’ eventual choice of university.

Building on integrated model of college choice and push-pull mobility model, it is conceptualized that students’ border crossing from Hong Kong to Mainland China for higher education is a trans-contextualized negotiated choice under the “One Country, Two Systems” principle. The findings reveal that during the decision-making process, influencing factors have conditioned four types of student choice: Pragmatists, Achievers, Averages, and Underachievers. By proposing an enhanced integrated model of college choice that encompasses both rational motives and sociological factors, it sheds lights on the theoretical significance and practical implications of the qualitative study which may interest higher education researchers, university administrators, school principals, teachers and students.

Reference: Te Alice, Y. C. (2022). Choosing Chinese Universities: A Negotiated Choice for Hong Kong Students. Taylor & Francis.


Alice Y.C. Te received her Ph.D. in Education and B.Soc.Sc. in Management from The University of Hong Kong, and M.A. in Training and Human Resource Development from the University of Technology Sydney. She is currently teaching an undergraduate course in HKU Faculty of Education on the Social and Philosophical Foundations of Education. She is the Managing Editor of Public Administration and Policy: An Asia-Pacific Journal published by Emerald in the United Kingdom. She is also a Director of Studies and Supervisor of doctoral student dissertations of the DBA programme, University of Wales Trinity Saint David operated by the Hong Kong Management Association in Hong Kong, as well as a Postdoctoral Research Associate of the Consortium for Higher Education Research in Asia (CHERA) at The University of Hong Kong, and Vice President for Journal Publication of the Hong Kong Public Administration Association. Her research interests include international student mobility, cross-border higher education, education policies in Greater Bay Area of China.

China’s Ethnic Minority Educational Preferential Policy at the Crossroads – A Case Study of the Bonus Score Policy: More, Less or Gone?


Chair: Dr Jisun Jung, The University of Hong Kong

Speaker: Ms Zhepin Zhuang, La Trobe University


The bonus score treatment is a long-held but controversial educational preferential policy for Chinese minority students in the yearly National University Entrance Examination. Being a core component of China’s ethnic preferential policy, the bonus score treatment has been undergoing a diminishing trend nationwide amid a deepening of the reforms. This article investigates a complete set of the policy documentation issued by China’s central government and various local governments. The findings indicate that the bonus score policy reform aims to more precisely target the regions and ethnic minorities with the most need. Meanwhile, drilling down to deeper levels of details, the article argues that the educational preferential policy has been shifted even though the State-Party never officially admits it. It is prudently but adamantly tightening the relatively liberal and preferential ethnic minority educational policy, aimed a trend of foster a strong sense of community for the Chinese nation under Xi Jinping’s era.


Zhepin Zhuang is a second-year Ph.D. candidate in the School of Humanities and Social Sciences, La Trobe University. As a former lecturer at Wenzhou Polytechnic, she gained eight years of significant professional and teaching experience in the academic sphere. Currently, she is undertaking research focused on higher education for ethnic minorities in China. 

Intercultural (Re)connections in Post-Pandemic University Service Learning

Chair: Dr Jisun Jung, The University of Hong Kong

Speaker: Dr Gordon Tsui, The Education University of Hong Kong


This presentation discusses how university service learning could help foster human (re)connections with the community through co-learning in the post-pandemic era. University service learning, which oftentimes focuses on students’ academic achievements and career development through real-life experiences, is argued to have inadequate community voice and representation in higher education policies and literatures. In this light, this presentation suggests that co-learning among stakeholders should be included in future university service learning in reference to an autoethnographic research in Kenya. This research has found out that the university and the community would be more connected when different stakeholders were able to co-learn and address cultural differences in the trips. Co-learning could therefore be argued to help foster human (re)connections, which has been greatly traumatized, in the post-pandemic era. Suggestions about how different stakeholders could co-learn in creating a more connected service learning community will be provided at the end of the presentation.


Gordon obtained his PhD from the Faculty of Education, The University of Hong Kong. His main research interests include Higher Education and Intercultural Education with the focus on human experience. He serves as secretary of Comparative Education Society of Hong Kong (CESHK) and The Hong Kong Educational Research Association (HKERA).

Gender Perceptions, Expectations and Behaviours of Male and Female Academics and Career Progression in China


Chair: Dr Lili Yang, The University of Hong Kong

Speaker: Tang Li, The University of Hong Kong


This article explores the experiences of male and female academics in China’s higher education system concerning career progression and examines how they perceive the challenges faced by the opposite gender. Our analysis of interviews with 40 academics from a research university revealed that academics’ experience of career progression is informed by gendered divisions of labour at home and work and by gendered role expectations that are prevalent in Chinese culture. Specifically, female academics reported performing a disproportionate amount of household work. In contrast, male academics mentioned great pressure to pursue promotion and career progression. Moreover, Male and female academics showed mixed comprehension of each other’s plight. We argue that the challenges faced by Chinese academics can only be mitigated if gender-specific promotion paths that recognise men’s and women’s social roles and obligations are made available.



Tang Li, is currently a Ph.D. candidate at the Faculty of Education, University of Hong Kong. Her doctoral research investigates a holistic understanding of issues on Chinese women academics. She has strong interests in gender issues in higher education in China, with particular interests in career development of women academics. She has published in Higher Education and Higher Education Quarterly.

Here’s where she can be found on Twitter: @LiTANG_HE 


Lili Yang is an Assistant Professor at the Faculty of Education, the University of Hong Kong. Her research interests include higher education, cross-cultural comparison of higher education, and higher education policy. Her forthcoming book is titled ‘Higher Education, State and Society: Comparing the Chinese and Anglo-American Approaches’ (Bloomsbury).

An Interpretive Analysis: Qualifying as a Supervisor and Recruiting Students in Chinese Research Universities

Chair/ Discussant: Dr Linlin Xu, University of Auckland

Speaker: Bing Lu, University of Warwick



This paper sets out to challenge identified policy barriers regarding doctoral supervisor qualification and student recruitment in China. With a comprehension of the context of China, this paper highlights how local knowledge matters in evaluating doctoral education policies in different societies, by bringing in the issues of supervisor eligibility in other emerging national contexts for comparison. Adopting the policy interpretive analysis, this paper conducts two levels of analysis: the national level and the institutional level – it assumes that analysing policies is a ‘democratic undertaking’ which emphasizes the potential audience to whom the documents are designed for. Arguably, to facilitate a supportive, academic-oriented environment for doctoral researchers, the role of supervisors must be clarified, their expertise must be recognized, and their autonomy in recruiting students must be assured. This paper is tempted to raise the awareness of all actors in the picture of doctoral education exercising expertise of their own domain to challenge the policy barriers.



Bing Lu is currently a doctoral researcher in Department for Education Studies (DES) at University of Warwick and the co-convenor of the department’s research seminar series. As the founder of the ‘Superb-vision network‘ (SVN) sponsored by Warwick Doctoral College, she organized a series of SkillsForge workshops guiding the discussion of supervision experiences within the research development framework (RDF) at Warwick. Her doctoral research investigates how returned doctorate holders conduct doctoral supervision in their home countries. Her main research area is in exploring the transnational flows of highly skilled intellectuals and mapping the global picture of doctoral supervision.

Here’s where she can be found on Twitter: @BingluAlice


Chair & Discussant

Linlin Xu is an Honorary Academic at the University of Auckland and Associate Professor at the University of Electronic Science and Technology of China. Her main area of expertise is the doctoral education, but she has researched and published in broader higher education areas, including (intercultural) doctoral supervision, academic writing and academic identities. 

The China-centric Era? Rethinking Academic Identity for Sustainable Higher Education Internationalization in China


Chair/ Discussant: Dr Xin Xu, University of Oxford

Speaker: Xiaoshi Li, The University of Hong Kong


Although recent decades have witnessed remarkable development of China’s higher education (HE) since its Open Door policy in 1978, China’s cross-border collaboration in HE has not always been smooth. The global rise of neo-nationalism in recent years, exacerbated by the COVID-19 crisis, has put international academic collaboration under grave threat. Based on the speaker’s most recent published work with the identical title, this presentation will conduct a critical review of China’s strategy for HE internationalization to discern its underlying rationale and what is encumbering the process. By examining the concept of academic identity through the lens of academic nationalism and academic internationalism in Chinese HE context, it is argued that the crux of China’s cross-border collaboration issue may largely lie in the imbalanced nationalist and internationalist dimensions of Chinese academic identity. The presentation is expected to engage and advance the current dialogues on the challenges and issues of China’s HE internationalization amid geopolitical tensions in an era of flux.



Xiaoshi Li is a PhD candidate in the Faculty of Education at the University of Hong Kong. He has worked as a consultant in international education. His major research interests include higher education internationalization, master’s education, graduate employability and university-to-work transition.

Chair & Discussant

is a Research Fellow at CGHE, Department of Education, and a Junior Research Fellow at Kellogg College, University of Oxford. Xin’s research focuses on academic research, global higher education, and Chinese higher education. Xin’s publications appear in academic journals in English and Chinese languages. Forthcoming books include Changing Higher Education in East Asia (co-edited with Simon Marginson; Bloomsbury; 2022).

Meet the Editors: Journal of Academic Ethics


Chair: Dr Jisun Jung, The University of Hong Kong

Speaker: Dr Loreta Tauginiene, Hanken School of Economics, Finland

About the Webinar

Journal of Academic Ethics (JAET), published by Springer Nature, is an interdisciplinary, peer-reviewed journal devoted to examining ethical issues that arise in all aspects of post-secondary education, primarily within a university context. Providing a forum for the publication and discussion of original research, the JAET examines ethical concerns in research, teaching, administration, and governance.

In this webinar, the Editor-in-Chief of the JAET will introduce the aims, and scope of the journal. The speaker will also share what policy the JAET applies when evaluating the quality of submissions and what opportunities are for authors and reviewers.


Dr Loreta Tauginiene is a  Social scientist (Associated Researcher) at Hanken School of Economics, Finland exploring research integrity, university social responsibility, and ethical issues in citizen science. Visiting Professor at Università degli Studi dell’Insubria, Italy in 2021. Editor-in-Chief of Journal of Academic Ethics (since 2021). Ex-Member of the Board of the association European Network for Academic Integrity (2017–2020). Member of the Transitional Board of the association European Network of Research Integrity Offices (since 2020).

See more on Google Scholar,

Interview with the speaker:

Introducing citizen science helps humanities and social sciences [Chinese: 引入公民科学有助人文社科研究] by Youran Wang, 8 August 2021 by Social Sciences in China Press ( affiliated to the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences (,  ( Main findings from the study published in Tauginienė et al.’s article Citizen Science in the Social Sciences and Humanities: The Power of Interdisciplinarity ( are presented.


Jisun Jung is an assistant professor in the Faculty of Education at the University of Hong Kong. She is a co-editor of Higher Education Research & Development, and an editorial board member of Higher Education Quarterly.

Panorama of Chinese Education Recruitment Agencies (CEARs) Via Legitimacy Lens


Chair & Discussant: Dr Siyuan Feng, International Centre for Higher Education Innovation (UNESCO)

Speaker: Cassie M Zhang, University College London

Chinese Education Recruitment Agencies (CERAs) have received much attention in the past decade, as researchers have started to realize that CERA are frequently used by higher education institutions (HEIs) across several Western countries to recruit more and better qualified Chinese international students. It is noteworthy that over 50% of Chinese students studying overseas have sought assistance from CERAs to pursue their studies overseas. Meanwhile China is widely acknowledged to be at the top of the ‘sending country’ list in student international mobility. In this presentation, Cassie will share some findings from her 44 interviews with CERA staffs on how they perceive their roles in the context of higher education, along with a typology of CERAs.


Cassie is a PhD researcher at UCL IOE, and a lecturer at the University of Bristol.

Her research examines the legitimation, professionalization and institutionalization of Chinese Educational Recruitment Agencies. Based on her broad education background and work experience, Cassie is particularly interested in mixed method and interdisciplinary social science research: organizational studies, strategic management and marketing studies. 

Siyuan Feng is a senior education specialist affiliated with the International Centre for Higher Education Innovation under the auspices of UNESCO. He holds a PhD from the University of Hong Kong. His research areas include non-state education reforms in China, shadow education, and international higher education admission policies.

Agential Theory of Higher Education as Student Self-formation: Empirical and Conceptual Approaches


Chair & Discussant: Dr Andrew Pau Hoang, The University of Hong Kong

Speaker: Soyoung Lee, University of Oxford

Higher education as student self-formation is an emerging approach to re-determine what is a university for. Despite its effectiveness in foregrounding student agency in higher education research, the comprehensive nature of the self-formation concept imposes challenges for developing its embryonic research programme further. This presentation aims to introduce a possible approach to researching higher education as self-formation, drawing on my doctoral study. The study incorporates both conceptual and empirical approaches into the investigation of two fundamental questions: what is self-formation? How do students engage in self-formation? Focusing on the academic aspect of self-formation, I conceptually elaborate the process of self-formation by working with psychological and sociological theories. Then how students creatively transform themselves in higher education will be explained by using empirical data from local and international South Korean students.


Soyoung Lee is a PhD Candidate in Department of Education, University of Oxford. Soyoung’s research interests involve international students, student agency and cultural differences in higher education. She is a member of Global Higher Education research group and holds her master’s degree from the University of Cambridge. 

Dr Andrew Pau Hoang is a Postdoctoral Fellow in SCAPE and the Academy for Leadership in Teacher Education. He researches the praxis of school support services provision and youth mental health from sociological and anthropological perspectives. He is developing a grounded theory of psychosocial interventions in education as affective technologies, and recently completed a commissioned report on equity and inclusion in Hong Kong higher education for HKU’s senior management team.

Meet the Editors: Higher Education Quarterly


Chair: Dr Jisun Jung, The University of Hong Kong


Prof Tatiana Fumasoli, University College London Institute of Education, UK

Dr Christine Teelken, VU University Amsterdam, Netherlands

Discussant: Prof Akiyoshi Yonezawa, Tohoku University, Japan

Higher Education Quarterly (by Wiley in partnership with SRHE Society for Research into Higher Education) is an international peer-reviewed scholarly journal publishing research on policy, organisation, leadership, governance, management and the professions in higher education. In this Webinar, two editors of the journal will introduce the aims and scope of Higher Education Quarterly and share their experiences as editors. The speakers will share how they assess the quality of manuscript in the journal and what the best practices are in other journals of the field of higher education.


Tatiana Fumasoli is Professor of Higher Education Studies at UCL Institute of Education, University College London, where she is the director of the UCL Centre for Higher Education Studies. Her research interests lie at the intersection of management studies, organisation theory and sociology of professions and expertise. She has led and coordinated several international projects focusing on global governance, external engagement and the academic profession. She is an editor of Higher Education Quarterly.

Christine Teelken works as an associate professor at the VU Universiteit Amsterdam, the Netherlands. She is member of management team of the department of Organization Sciences, and coordinates a bachelor and masters’ program. She is link convenor of the ECER network 22, research in higher education since 2014 and member of the OECD project group ‘research precariat’.  She is an editor of Higher Education Quarterly.


Jisun Jung is an assistant professor in the Faculty of Education at the University of Hong Kong. She is a co-editor of Higher Education Research & Development, and an editorial board member of Higher Education Quarterly.


Akiyoshi Yonezawa is a Professor and Director, Office of Institutional Research, Tohoku University in Japan. He is a co-editor of Book Series Higher Education in Asia: Quality, Excellence and Governance series (Springer Book Series), and an editorial board member of Higher Education Quarterly.

Chair & Discussant: Dr Jin Jiang, Hong Kong Baptist University

Presenter: Ms Arfeen Bibi, The University of Hong Kong


Higher Education-to-Work transitions of South Asian Ethnic Minority Youths in Hong Kong

Existing literature has identified certain structural, social and cultural roadblocks along the education and career trajectories of ethnic minority youth in Hong Kong. However, recent years have witnessed improvements in higher education participation that have resulted from policy interventions and pressure from non-government organizations. Against this backdrop, this qualitative-dominant study aims to explore the challenges and opportunities along the academic pathways and work transitions of some South Asian ethnic minority youths in higher education and fresh graduates. During the presentation, findings from three phases of the transition process, i.e. job-preparation, job-seeking and job-attainment will be discussed. With reference to the research framework, some initial analysis on how these youths negotiate their experiences and the subsequent labor market outcomes will also be presented.


Jin Jiang is an Assistant Professor at the Department of Sociology, The Hong Kong Baptist University. She obtained her PhD at the Chinese University of Hong Kong. Her research interests include sociology of education, social stratification and mobility, labour markets and international higher education. One of her current research projects, funded by the Research Grants Council, investigates how and why the co-residence of young adults with their parents has changed over the past 25 years in Hong Kong, Mainland China and the United Kingdom. Another current project, funded by Public Policy Research Fund, adopts the approaches of big data and survey experiments to examine how local people in Hong Kong perceive the career opportunity for young adults in the Greater Bay Area. Dr Jiang has published articles in leading international journals such as American Sociological ReviewSociology of Education, and Journal of Social Policy, and book chapters published Routledge, Springer and Oxford University Press.

Arfeen Bibi, a Hong Kong-born and raised Pakistani, is an EdD candidate at the Faculty of Education at the University of Hong Kong. With a background in education, Arfeen has been committed to teaching South Asian ethnic minority youths for over a decade. Her research interests lie in Hong Kong ethnic minority studies and higher education research.


Graduate Entrepreneurs in Urban China: The Impact of Changing Institutional Environment on the Role of Social Networks

Chair & Discussant: Dr Mengyang Li, Southern University of Science and Technology

Presenter: Dr Yuyang Kang Lingnan University

Extended research has shown the significance of social networks in influencing entrepreneurship in China. However, much less is known about how rapid urbanisation and internationalisation have influenced the changing role of different social networks in the younger generation. This article draws on initial fieldwork conducted in Shenzhen to discuss the traditional and transitional elements in young graduate entrepreneurs’ familial and professional ties. It examines in detail the changing role of family and pseudo-family networks and identifies a new type of professional network in Shenzhen, termed ‘giant company old boy’s society’ by the author. This type of network originates from professional networks in one’s previous employment experiences which later transform into ties ascribed by people’s identity as members of a specific community with characteristics of Chinese guanxi and strong ties. This article argues social networks serve as a substitute to unstable institutional support in urban China. This article concludes by discussing the changing nature of guanxi and social networks in urban China and its implication to entrepreneurship development in countries with rapidly changing social context.


Li Mengyang is a postdoctoral researcher at the Center for Higher Education Research, Southern University of Science and Technology. She obtained her PhD from the Faculty of Education, University of Hong Kong. Her main research interests include international scholarly relations, internationalization of humanities and social sciences, international higher education, and general education in higher education.

Dr Yuyang Kang is Research Fellow at the Institute of Policy Studies, Lingnan University, Hong Kong. Her research interests include higher education management, youth development, internationalization of higher education in general. Her current research projects focus on higher education development in the Great Bay Area of China, and employment outcomes of Chinese university graduates.

Engaging Universities with the Refugee Community through Incubation Programs: Exploring Challenges and Sharing Suggestions


Chair & Discussant: Dr Kevin Kester, Seoul National University

Presenter: Ms Aysuhan Tuba Saral, Education University of Hong Kong

Supporting refugees through incubation programs has proven to be a successful strategy in numerous projects around the globe in terms of integration and empowerment of refugees. To connect this topic meaningfully to the aim of the CHERA/ECR series, we will argue that enhancing the efforts of higher education institutions to promote refugee entrepreneurship would contribute to universities‘ mission of community engagement and leading to social and economic development through the beneficial exchange of knowledge and resources. During the presentation, we will examine some of the challenges that refugees face regarding entrepreneurship in their new settlements and give examples from different contexts on how to tackle them. Drawing from the current fieldwork, we will also share our initial analysis of refugees‘ challenges and ideas concerning social entrepreneurship in Hong Kong, and conclude with some suggestions that could be meaningful for refugees and the city with the help of a university.


Kevin Kester is an Assistant Professor of Comparative International Education and Peace/Development Studies at Seoul National University, South Korea. He completed his PhD and postdoc at the University of Cambridge. Before moving to Seoul National University, he was an Assistant Professor of Education at Keimyung University and Director of Studies for Education at Queens’ College, Cambridge. His research focuses on educational responses to peace, conflict, and development in local and global contexts. His recent book includes ‘The United Nations and Higher Education: Peacebuilding, Social Justice and Global Cooperation for the 21st Century’.

Aysuhan Tuba Saral, a native of Turkey, completed her master’s degree at Stockholm University under the Swedish Institute’s scholarship. Currently she is a PhD candidate in the International Education Department at the Education University of Hong Kong. Her research interests include generic green skills, refugees’ wellbeing and entrepreneurship.

Unveiling the Research Agenda-setting of Academics from the Applied Fields


Chair & Discussant: Dr Nian Ruan, The University of Hong Kong

Presenter: Ms Liu Yingxin, Margaret, The University of Hong Kong

Research agenda-setting is a vital part of research activities of academics but mostly understudied in the literature. It is expected to function as part of the initial research plan with potential influences on the career of academics. In the current knowledge reliant academia and society, it merits further study. Using qualitative research methodology and a grounded theory approach, the aim of this study is to uncover the research agenda-setting and the factors affecting the agenda-setting process. In-depth interviews are conducted in Hong Kong and Mainland China, with 51 academics from applied disciplines involved. This research will draw insights from the qualitative data to build up a theoretical framework and unveil research agenda-setting. A thorough comprehension of academics’ behavior will of great value to providing references for academics to have a self-reflection and motivate themselves. Detailed delineation of the research agenda-setting will enlighten the academics with practical implications and suggestions. Furthermore, the research outcome will grant the policymakers in higher education and project managers novel illumination.


Nian Ruan has recently completed her doctoral study in the Faculty of Education at the University of Hong Kong. Her research focuses on higher education policies, women scholars’ intellectual leadership, Chinese international student mobility, teaching and learning in higher education in mainland China and Hong Kong.

Liu Yingxin, Margaret, is a Ph.D. candidate at the Faculty of Education, University of Hong Kong. Her research interests lie in research agenda-setting and academic career trajectory in the context of higher education. She has been appointed as the facilitator of the “Young SDG Innovators” Program and the “Youth Program of China-Japan-Korea Roundtable Conference” by the UN Global Compact Network China.



The Integration of International Faculty at Japanese Universities: A Qualitative Approach


Chair & Discussant: Dr Qin Yunyun, Beijing Foreign Studies University

Presenter: Ms Chen Lilan, Hiroshima University

The purpose of this study is to explore the integration of international faculty in Japan. The integration of international faculty is defined as a two-way process in which the mutual adaptation of diverse social-cultural and moral characteristics from both international faculty and Japan is achieved. An exploratory study of semi-structural interviews with 40 full-time international faculty hired in Japanese universities with various backgrounds was conducted. The key findings drawn from this study suggest explicitly that from the perspectives of international faculty, the integration of international faculty in Japan can be captured from three dimensions as follows: A-Work integration, B-Social-cultural integration, and C-Psychological integration. Only when they have the same working roles with Japanese professors and their receiving environment is accommodating, will they feel that they have achieved work integration. In addition, the conditions for social-cultural integration are receiving the same rights and obligations as Japanese, having Japanese networks and interests in Japan. Moreover, only when Work integration and Social-cultural integration are achieved at the same time will they feel integrated psychologically. Based on their integration in those dimensions, four types of international faculty have been identified. Theoretical and practical implications drawn from the key findings are provided to not only better understand the integration of international faculty at Japanese universities, but also to better serve and support them in practice.


Qin Yunyun is Assistant Professor at Graduate School of Education in Beijing Foreign Studies University, China. She obtained her Doctor degree at the University of Hong Kong in 2018. Her research interests include comparative and international education, cross-border education, sociology of education, etc.

Chen Lilan is a Ph.D. candidate of Research Institute for Higher Education (RIHE), Hiroshima University. Her research interest is the internationalization of higher education, specifically the integration of international faculty. Her recent publications are as follows:

  • Chen, L. (2020). Chinese Faculty at Japanese Universities: Demographic Characteristics, Adaptation to Their Affiliations, and Opinions on Internationalization. Rev Higher Educ, 154, RIHE, Hiroshima University, 57-69 (in Japanese).

  • Chen, L. (2020). Literature Review and Issues concerning Integration of International Faculty at Japanese Universities. Bulletin of the Graduate School of Education, 69, Hiroshima University (in Japanese).

  • Huang, F., Daizen, T., Chen, L., Horiuchi, K. (2021). The Public Good in Japan’s Higher Education: Main findings from interviews with various stakeholders. Working paper no. 57. CGHE, Department of Education, University of Oxford.

Impact of Study Abroad Experience on Chinese Engineering Students’ Employability

Chair & Discussant: Dr Ma Ying, The University of Hong Kong

Presenter: Ms Huang Qian, Cathy, The University of Hong Kong

This research aims to examine the impact of study abroad experience on Chinese engineering students’ employability and their early career path. In this study, employability is defined as capabilities, processes and performances before job search, during job search and after job search, which include hard and soft skills engineering students gain upon graduation before job search; processes during job search; performances after job search during graduates’ early career. This study aims to explore following research questions: how do study abroad experiences prepare engineering graduates’ hard & soft skills before job search? How do study abroad experiences influence engineering graduates’ job search process? how do study abroad experience influence engineering graduates’ performance during early career? This study adopts a qualitative approach via in-depth interview focusing on individual experience from phenomenology approach. This study will make theoretical contribution in the area of combining both learning theories and sociological perspective to explore the theme of study abroad experiences’ impact on employability. It will be of great significance to future engineering students, study abroad officers both at home universities and at host universities as well as policy makers for international education in enhance international engineering students’ employability during their study abroad.


Ma Ying received her PhD in Sociology of Education from The University of Hong Kong. Before that, she obtained her MEd and BA at Tsinghua University. She is now teaching at the Faculty of Education, HKU and also serving as a Postdoctoral Research Associate at the Consortium for Higher Education Research in Asia (CHERA). She is mainly interested in student agency and international education at secondary and tertiary levels in China. Her ongoing research projects cover international schools and educational consulting in Mainland China, Chinese undergraduates’ major transfer decision-making, and innovative talent development by universities in the Greater Bay Area.

Huang Qian is an EdD candidate at the Faculty of Education, University of Hong Kong (HKU). Her research topic is the impact of study abroad experiences on Chinese engineering students’ employability. Prior to her doctoral study, Cathy worked as a university administer for Fudan University and Shanghai Jiao Tong University for almost ten years. Her recent publications include:

  • Huang, Q.& Jung, J. (2020). Development of strategies for internationalizing Chinese Higher vocational education. Journal of Institutional Research South East Asian, 18(1), 41-62.
  • Xie, A.L., Postiglione, G.A & Huang, Q(2020). The Greater Bay Area (GBA) Development Strategy and Its Relevance to Higher Education. ECNU Review of Education, 1-11.