Chapter 21: The political economy of cross-border higher education: the intra-national flow of students in Greater China
Almost immediately upon his assumption of office in 2008, Ma Ying-Jeou, the current president of the Republic of China (ROC, hereafter Taiwan),set about the task of strengthening the relationship with the People’s Republic of China (PRC, hereafter mainland China). In this context, the Economic Co-operation Framework Agreement between the two Chinese societies, which signaled a deepening of economic collaboration and integration, was signed in 2010, and Taiwan passed the legislation to recognize academic degrees awarded by Chinese universities and to allow Taiwanese universities to recruit students from the mainland later in the same year. Taiwan expects that there will be an increasing inbound flow of students from the main land. While we have witnessed the emerging cross-border collaboration in higher education between mainland China and Taiwan, the Hong Kong special administrative region of the PRC (hereafter Hong Kong) continues to play a role of being a bridge to international higher education for mainland Chinese students. For years, students from the mainland have been attracted by the international reputation and education quality of Hong Kong’s universities, and therefore choose the city as their destination territory. Meanwhile, in many cases, owing to the reputational supremacy of Hong Kong’s higher education, mainland Chinese students also intend to make the city a stepping-stone to their further development in the West. This makes Hong Kong play a dual role in the outbound flow of mainland Chinese students (Li and Bray, 2007).
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