Northeast Asia

Organized Panel Session

2 - Chinese Parents’ Intentions of Sending Children Abroad for Study: Globalized Educational Imaginaries and Compensatory Strategies

Friday, July 6
8:30 AM - 10:00 AM
Location: Jacaranda II, First Floor

This paper uses evidence from China—the source of the largest number of international students—to explore what type of families consider studying abroad for their children. We use data from the China Family Panel Study (CFPS), a large-scale representative sample survey that has collected information on families, households and their broader social context since 2010. Parents were asked whether they had considered sending their child to study abroad, and over 20% of parents said they had, with the majority thinking of tertiary education abroad, and a minority looking at pre-tertiary stages. We collapsed these two categories into a single “study abroad” dichotomous recodification, which we use as the dependent variable. We then estimate linear probability models of who considers international education. Our models control for a large set of variables (gender, age, hukou household registration in China, being a single child) and also school performance. Our findings generate three important insights. First, considering study abroad is conditional on the child’s educational level and prior school performance, but independent of gender and hukou registration. Second, sending children abroad is not only a consideration for parents of successful but also unsuccessful students. Third, this trend is particularly strong among highly educated parents. Being more exposed to global educational imaginaries, these parents may consider study abroad as a valuable end in itself, and thus a strategy to compensate for their children’s failure at school. Our findings point to a more heterogeneous flow of international students than is often assumed in the literature.

Send Email for Hector Cebolla Boado


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2 - Chinese Parents’ Intentions of Sending Children Abroad for Study: Globalized Educational Imaginaries and Compensatory Strategies



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Send Email for Chinese Parents’ Intentions of Sending Children Abroad for Study: Globalized Educational Imaginaries and Compensatory Strategies