Riding over the National and Global Disequilibria: International Learning and Academic Career Development of Chinese Ph.D. Returnees

Jin JIANG, Ka Ho Mok, Shen Wenqin

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

In response to the growing pressure of globalization and intensified competition for global talent, the Chinese government has proactively invested in human capital by sending students abroad to pursue higher degrees through national scholarship programs. This article sets out against the context of raising concerns and even questions the value of the globalization and internationalization of higher education on graduate employment and professional development. It critically examines how the overseas doctoral study could affect the graduate employment of Ph.D. returnees in the academic job market. Drawing on a national survey on government-funded Chinese Ph.D. returnees, this article finds no significant “pure prestige” effect of returnees’ doctoral university independent of individual merits. Instead, pre-employment academic productivity plays an important role in determining Ph.D. returnees’ job placement in a top university in China. The present article offers a sociological perspective on how the Chinese government rides on the rising nationalism and the call for globalization through grooming Chinese students to become global talents before bringing them back for enhancing the country’s global competitiveness.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)531–554
Number of pages24
JournalHigher Education Policy
Volume33
Issue number3
Early online date8 Jan 2020
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Sep 2020

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