Social involvement and development as a response to the campus student culture

Min Yang*, Albert Wai Lap Chau

*Corresponding author for this work

    Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articlepeer-review

    5 Citations (Scopus)


    Given the widely accepted notion of whole person education in Confucian societies such as Hong Kong, Mainland China and Singapore, it is surprising that research literature originated in these societies pays little attention to how students learn and develop through out-of-class experiences at university. There is little research evidence on how the prevailing culture among student social communities (residential halls and student societies/clubs) influences students' social involvement and development. This paper examines 42 Chinese students' social experiences and development during their freshman year at a Hong Kong university. The majority of them were intensively involved in out-of-class activities. Their active social involvement was both a response to the culture of student communities and a conscious choice about social experiences at university. As a result, the students attained development in four dimensions: (1) the social competences of interpersonal and collaboration skills and new friendships; (2) the practical competences of time management, organisation, negotiation, decision making and leadership; (3) the intellectual competences of open-mindedness and independent judgment; and (4) the personal competences of self- responsibility and self-confidence. Educational implications are discussed towards the end of the paper on supporting and advising students regarding social involvement, particularly during the first year of university.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)393-402
    Number of pages10
    JournalAsia Pacific Education Review
    Issue number3
    Publication statusPublished - Sept 2011

    Scopus Subject Areas

    • Education

    User-Defined Keywords

    • Development outcomes
    • Out-of-class experiences
    • Social involvement
    • Student communities
    • Student culture
    • Whole person education


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