The environmental awareness of university students in Beijing, China

Kenneth K K WONG*

*Corresponding author for this work

    Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articlepeer-review

    63 Citations (Scopus)


    How people perceive, and behave in response to, environmental problems is important in understanding responses from the individual, group, and societal levels. This paper discusses the findings of a survey that elicited university student perceptions of China's environment and development issues. The findings reveal that university students in Beijing are not single-minded about the pro-growth beliefs and values that are deeply embedded in society. On the whole, students were conscious about the seriousness of environmental problems, both in China and throughout the world. However, they were pessimistic about future environmental conditions. Many students anticipated a decline in environmental quality over the next five years, both in China and the world. The students were also ambivalent about dividing priorities between economic growth and environmental protection. Yet they supported the establishment of more environmental NGOs to exert pressure on the government to protect the environment. Overall, a rising environmental awareness among these young intellectuals would ultimately spark environmental activism in China.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)519-536
    Number of pages18
    JournalJournal of Contemporary China
    Issue number36
    Publication statusPublished - Aug 2003

    Scopus Subject Areas

    • Geography, Planning and Development
    • Development
    • Political Science and International Relations


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