Cross-cultural Adaptation and Learning Outcomes of Non-local Students to a Hong Kong University: A Longitudinal Study

Principal Investigator

  • Dr. DOWNING Kevin J


UGC is launching internationalisation of Hong Kong university campus to ensure the development of students' English language ability and to ensure that students we are producing are capable to work in cultural diverse environment. As a result, the sector population of non-local students is steadily increasing from 3,204 in 2004 to 9,333 in 2010. A primary goal for international students studying abroad is, of course, to gain a qualification. However, there is remarkably little published research on the learning outcomes of non-local students in Hong Kong with no real research undertaken relating to their stress in academic and social interaction, intercultural communication competence and even the drop-out issue. The approach of the new four-year undergraduate curriculum in 2012 is likely to be accompanied by a further influx of non-local students. Consequently, this is an appropriate time to investigate what factors impact upon these non-local students achieving desirable learning outcomes and how their adaptation to studying in Hong Kong mediates between their backgrounds/affective factors and learning outcomes.

This study identifies three important facets of adaptation and two learning outcomes of non-local students at a University of Hong Kong and tests a proposed model with structural equation modeling, aiming to find out the important mediating roles of adaptation between motivational attributes and learning outcomes of these non-local students. The findings of this study will provide well-evidenced practical suggestions for host institutions, staff, and international students on how to improve non-local students learning experiences in the mixed-culture context of Hong Kong. It will also enrich the existing literature relating to international students and shed light on the positive learning outcomes of non-local students.