Cultural and Equity Issues of Chinese Students Studying in Australia: Strategies for Improving Their Educational and Social Outcomes

Ping Wang,
Assoc Prof James Cross
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Globalisation and the recent rapidly-increasing size and diversity of the student population produce new demands and challenges on universities and their cultural, academic and local communities. With China becoming the major international student source for Australia, educational institutions are challenged to develop strategies to improve educational and social outcomes for these students. Based on results from a major research project involving Chinese students studying at Edith Cowan University, Western Australia, we identify significant cultural and equity issues of Chinese students studying in Australia. Factors and their significance that have impacts on these issues for Chinese students are identified and analysed. This research draws on the experience of the authors of academia and senior management of Australian and Chinese universities and an educational consultancy company. Conclusions are drawn and recommendations made for senior management of Australian universities to develop strategies of facilitating Chinese students' participation and integration in academic and local communities.

Keywords: Culture, Equity, Academic Community, Local Community, Participation, Integration, Higher Education
Stream: Learning, Education, Training
Presentation Type: Paper Presentation in English
Paper: Cultural and Equity Issues of Chinese Students Studying in Australia

Ping Wang

Postgraduate student, Graduate Research Assistant, School of Management Information Systems Faculty of Business and Law, Edith Cowan University

Ping Wang currently is a postgraduate student in Management Information Systems at Edith Cowan University, Western Australia and a graduate research assistant to Professor Jim Cross and Dr Mark Williams. An architect by training and an interior designer by profession for 4 years, Ping moved into university teaching and administration, educational consultancy, training and business management as a senior manager, administrator, and English teacher. Working in Beijing and Guangzhou after graduating from Sichuan University as an "Outstanding Graduate Student" and with several major awards (including the highest merit award in the Faculty of Architecture - awarded to only one student each year), Ping is synthesising her contributions in design, education, and research through publications.

Assoc Prof James Cross

Associate Dean, International and Commercial Faculty of Computing, Health and Science, Edith Cowan University

Professor James Cross currently heads the International and Commercial Office within the Faculty of Computing, Health and Science on the Joondalup Campus of ECU in Perth, Western Australia. During his time in this role he has established and supported collaborative arrangements with partners in Singapore, Malaysia, Thailand, Hong Kong, China, Ireland and Norway. The I & C office is responsible for the development, implement-ation and evaluation of international activities of the Faculty's Operational Plan, identification and development of strategic alliances in international markets that generate educational, cultural and financial returns for the Faculty, facilitation of scholarly exchanges, staff development, collaborative research and offshore teaching by Faculty staff in the international arena, administration of international programs, co-ordination of fee paying award courses, short courses, consultancies and contract research and development opportunities. He has been active in the development of award and short courses. In particular he has been team leader for the Thailand research preparation program for academic staff and has coordinated and taught in short courses for staff from many countries. His research interests are in the area of international education, applied time series analysis, image processing and natural resource modelling. He has worked collaboratively with the Marine Research Laboratories - WA Fisheries Department on time series modelling of fish stock, has been successful in obtaining research grants from the ARC, has previously been the leader of the data modelling and analysis research group and is the author of over 20 research papers over the last 5 years. In 1997 Professor Cross was admitted as a fellow of the Australian Mathematical Society.

Ref: D05P0328