The socio-cultural and academic adjustment of students at a leading university for ethnic minorities in China


Wu, Mei.. (2008). The socio-cultural and academic adjustment of students at a leading university for ethnic minorities in China. Theses and Dissertations Collection, University of Idaho Library Digital Collections.

The socio-cultural and academic adjustment of students at a leading university for ethnic minorities in China
Wu, Mei.
Minority college students--China--Social conditions Minority college students--Education (Continuing education)--China Minority college students--China--Psychology
Ethnic minority groups in China make up about 9 percent of the total population, or 110 million people, and they occupy more than 60 percent of China's total territory. However, access to higher education for China's 55 ethnic minorities lags behind that of the Han majority. Also, the academic quality and facilities of ethnic minority universities is generally poor.;Within this context, this mixed methods study compared the experiences of minority groups with different cultural/linguistic backgrounds and Han majority students at a leading Chinese university for ethnic minorities. The study examined personal self-esteem, collective self-esteem, collegiate psychological sense of the community, and social and academic adjustment of students with four different cultural/linguistic backgrounds: minority students fluent in their ethnic language and Mandarin (Type 1 Students); minority students fluent in Mandarin but not fluent in their ethnic language (Type 2); minority students fluent only in Mandarin, since their ethnic language is no longer spoken (Type 3); and Han majority students fluent in Mandarin only (Type 4). Additionally, interviews with minority students were conducted to triangulate the phenomena.;ANOVA results revealed significant differences among the four groups. Chi-square tests show an association between Mandarin language ability and personal self-esteem. Linear regression modeling revealed that collective self-esteem, not personal self-esteem, predicted socio-cultural and academic adjustment of ethnic minority students, Analysis of interviews suggests that different types of students face both common and different challenges and sources of stress. It was also found that preferential policies for minority students were the major motivator for them to choose this university. Further detailed findings are discussed in the manuscript.;The results of this study will be beneficial to Chinese higher education policy makers in their continued efforts to improve higher education for minorities. The results will also help minority parents to understand the importance of relationship between ethnic heritage, culture, language ability and the education of their children. Also, the results may lead to more effective educational policies at lower education levels, such as elementary and secondary schools, and thus prepare students to be more successful during their study at the university level.
Thesis (Ph. D., Education)--University of Idaho, May 2008.
Major Professor:
Jerry L. Tuchscherer.
Defense Date:
May 2008.
Format Original:
xii, 126 leaves :col. ill. ;29 cm.

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