Identity Trajectories of Asian International Students in Hong Kong Universities: A Longitudinal Narrative Approach
- Chit Cheung Matthew SUNG (Principal Investigator / Project Coordinator)Department of English
- Philip BENSON (Co-Investigator)
- Catherine MONTGOMERY (Co-Investigator)
DescriptionWith the intensification of globalization, universities worldwide have been active in implementing internationalization strategies. One key strategy is the recruitment of international students from abroad. In the last decade or so, Hong Kong has witnessed an expansion of the international student population in its universities. Following China's ‘Belt and Road’ initiative to promote cooperation among Eurasian countries, a ‘Belt and Road’ scholarship was recently established by the Hong Kong government to attract international students from neighboring countries in Asia, including India, Korea, Indonesia, Malaysia and Thailand, to undertake their undergraduate studies in Hong Kong. Against the backdrop of the mobility of international students within and across Asia and in particular the increased presence of Asian international students in Hong Kong universities, there is a need to understand how Asian international students make sense of their international educational experiences in Hong Kong universities.Building on the PI's pilot study, the proposed research project will investigate Asian international students' academic and social integration experiences in Hong Kong universities from an identity lens. In particular, it will examine their identity negotiation and identity trajectories in their academic and social integration, as well as the impact of their language experiences on their identity negotiation. The study seeks to understand how Asian international students negotiate their identities as members of the academic and social communities in the university, how their language experiences impact on their identity negotiation in their academic and social integration, how they navigate their educational journeys over time during their studies in Hong Kong, and what factors may have contributed to the similarities and differences in their identity trajectories. The proposed project will be informed by a sociocultural perspective on identity, complemented by a number of theoretical constructs, including identity negotiation, identity trajectory, academic and social integration, and language socialization.The proposed study will employ a longitudinal narrative approach, together with a multi-methods research design. Data collection will be conducted over a three-year period in three Hong Kong universities. The three universities are a first-tier comprehensive university, a second-tier comprehensive university, and a third-tier university. 60 Asian international undergraduate students from the three Hong Kong universities will be recruited. Multiple rounds of individual semi-structured interviews, supplemented by visual methods, will be conducted with the participants over the three-year period to elicit narratives of their academic and social integration experiences in the university, including their language experiences. The participants will also be asked to complete written activity logs which report on their day-to-day experiences in the university. A narrative inquiry approach will be used to analyze the data collected in order to understand the participants’ identity negotiation and identity trajectories in their academic and social integration in the university.The findings of the proposed project will have significant empirical, theoretical, methodological, and practical implications. Specifically, the study will not only make an empirical contribution to our understanding of Asian international students' identity trajectories in an Asian context, but also add to the body of research work on international student mobility within and across Asia. In terms of its theoretical contributions, the proposed study will develop a new theoretical framework on international student identity based on the findings of the study. Moreover, the proposed study will make methodological advances by applying a longitudinal narrative approach, together with a multi-methods research design, to the study of international students' identity trajectories. In practical terms, the proposed study will make informed recommendations as to the kinds of support and intervention that would be effective in facilitating international students' academic and social integration in the university, as well as their identity development. It will also have policy implications for universities in Hong Kong and beyond, especially with regard to internationalization strategies, curriculum developments, and language policies.
|Effective start/end date||1/01/22 → …|