Socialization Towards Internationalization

Survey Research on University Students in China


  • Zheng Ren Beihang University
  • Fei Wang University of British Columbia



Chinese university students, cognitive differences, diverse socialization, internationalization of higher education


Although students are the main recipients of internationalization in higher education (IHE), research on IHE mainly focuses on particular nations or educational institutions rather than the individual. Perceptions of university students towards internationalization, particularly what may impact their preparedness for and critical awareness of internationalization are largely lacking. This study explores in what ways students’ diverse socialization or experiences of socializing with different stakeholder’s impact their preparedness for and awareness of increasing internationalization in higher education institutions. The study utilizes data from a survey conducted with 511 students at two Chinese universities. The study found that students with diverse socialization backgrounds are more likely to develop a critical awareness of the social impact of internationalization, and that they believe internationalization enables them to learn from others, to develop capacities to analyze global issues, to develop skills to work with cultural others, and to make ethical decisions on social issues.

Author Biographies

Zheng Ren, Beihang University

Zheng Ren currently is a doctoral student at the Institute of Higher Education, Beihang University. She majors in higher education, internationalization of higher education, doctoral education. She can be reached at: Institute of Higher Education, Beihang University, 37# Xueyuan Road, Haidian District, Beijing, 100083, PR China. Email:

Fei Wang, University of British Columbia

Dr. Fei Wang is an associate professor at the Faculty of Education at the University of British Columbia. His research interests include educational leadership and administration, social justice and diversity, educational organization and policy studies, and international and comparative education. He can be reached at: Faculty of Education | Department of Educational Studies, University of British Columbia, BC., Canada, V6T 1Z2. Email:


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How to Cite

Ren, Z., & Wang, F. (2021). Socialization Towards Internationalization: Survey Research on University Students in China. Journal of International Students, 12(3), 736–755.



Research Articles (English)