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Why mainland China's students study in Australian higher education

conference contribution
posted on 2017-12-06, 00:00 authored by Molly YangMolly Yang
This paper analyses the factors that influence Mainland Chinese students’ choice of Australia as their study destination. China is the main source of international students and is one of Australia’s leading export markets for education services but the study of international students is not in the mainstream of any discipline (Altbach, 1989). Two stages of studies were employed to this research. Stage one, a quantitative study using A MaxDiff (Maximum Difference) Scaling. A sample of 65 potential students was selected in China who were considering studying overseas. The respondents were asked to specify their “best” and “worst” choices from sets of four statements. This stage identified what factors influenced students’ choice of study abroad. Stage two, comprised a further investigation on why students choose Australia, 30 students were interviewed who are currently studying in Australia. The findings found that Australia has become popular with Chinese students, and is preferred to both the United States and United Kingdom. The most important factors motivating Chinese students to study in Australia are future migration opportunities after graduation, Australia’s high quality of education, and competitive lower tuition fees and cost of living. By understanding the underlying factors attracting Chinese students to Australia, education providers can focus on satisfying students’ needs and expectations and to assure students’ study experiences.


Category 1 - Australian Competitive Grants (this includes ARC, NHMRC)


Parent Title

Value of knowledge : at the interface, papers presented at the 1st Global conference on the Value of knowledge, Monday 12th February - Wednesday 14th February 2007, Sydney, Australia

Start Page


End Page


Number of Pages


Start Date





Sydney, Australia


Inter-Disciplinary Press

Place of Publication

Oxford, UK

Peer Reviewed

  • Yes

Open Access

  • No

External Author Affiliations

Faculty of Business and Informatics;

Era Eligible

  • No

Name of Conference

Global Conference on the Value of Knowledge