Systematic and Non-Systematic Facilitation and Restriction for African Student Mobility from Africa to China

Lin Chen , KU Leuven, Vrije Universiteit Brussel

This paper focuses on explore the essential elements that draw the fast-growth African student population from 1,384 in year 1999 to 61,594 in year 2015 to choose China as their destination for higher education. Based on data from survey and inadept interview African students on university campus in Beijing, Shanghai and Guangzhou, the research finds that the gap of GDP per capita between China and their country of origin, the policy incentives on growing number of scholarships within the Forum of China and African Cooperation since year 2000, and the lower living and tuition cost in China than in western countries are the essential driven elements for the African students to study in China. They aim to accumulate potential human capital under lower cost and with higher return of education to bridge the individual income gap between China and their country of origin. In addition, the increasing rate of common usage of online social networks between China and Africa had accelerated the information and experience sharing and spreading among students migrants communities, universities forum, and helped on decreasing the cost and time in online pre-admission language studies, university application, migration decision making process for African students. We aim to explore the changes and demographic composition of south to south higher education mobility pattern overtime as well as how the systematic and non-systematic policy facilitation and restriction of labor market, social welfares and public space influence the incentives and integration of this group of African student mobility.

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 Presented in Session P3. Poster Session Migration, Economics, Environment, Methods, History and Policy