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Degree Name

MA in International Education

First Advisor

Dr. Alla Korzh


This study explores the perspectives of mainland Chinese parents on outbound international student mobility (ISM) following the COVID-19 pandemic. A narrative study situated in the qualitative paradigm, this study is informed by the push-pull theory of international student mobility and employed a socio-cultural framework based on the traditional Confucian value system and recent developments in mainland Chinese education. Through semi-structured interviews, the following research questions were addressed: What are mainland Chinese parents’ perspectives on outbound student mobility post-COVID-19? How has the pandemic transformed their motivations, needs, and expectations of international education?

Findings revealed that parents have sustained interest in sending their children abroad to study in the wake of the pandemic, but that they will delay their plans. Key reasons for delay included health and personal safety and a newfound appreciation of Chinese cultural capital. Key push/pull factors sustaining ISM include limitations of the Chinese domestic education system and the breadth of pedagogical options abroad. This study has implications in the development of international programming and marketing strategies for international student recruitment.

Key Terms: Confucianism, cultural capital, Gaokao, holistic education, international student mobility, pandemic, push-pull model, safety.


International and Comparative Education


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