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Les conditions de réussite et d’adaptation des étudiants chinois en France

Abstract : While French higher education knew few Chinese students until the beginning of the 21st century. Today, they constitute the largest foreign student community from a non-French speaking country. Their sudden arrival is a result of strategies in a particular national context. Forty years’ Economic Reform have changed the society and pushed China into an almost free economic system. The massification and commodification in education increase the fierce competition in the job market where students are unequal according to their background, residence's area (selected by Hukou), gender, etc. Today, higher education thus appears as a tool to determine the social trajectory (a renowned degree opening employment's door). It is under this pressure that Chinese students go to study all over the world to strengthen their competitiveness. France diplomas are both well recognized and relatively "cheap". However, success is not guaranteed once they leave the origin country, but a beginning of a journey made of constraints and freedoms, full of challenges and difficulties. It is enriching, adventurous, but also painful. If actual researches on the conditions of success and adaptation are more frequent on native students or on some foreign students, those concerning Chinese are rare. This research aims to complete our knowledge on Chinese students' success and adaptation's conditions in France. The results are based on quantitative surveys (national and local) and qualitative interviews (41 interviews on three sites : France, China and the United States).The results show that Chinese students have a lower success rate than French, but also lower than other foreign students. Several factors explain this phenomenon : their motivations to come to study in France are often due to dissatisfaction in previous studies in China. Their low French level makes it more difficult to succeed in higher education and increases difficulties in adapting. The majority of them come from middle social categories and have to complete financial resources with a part-time job. In addition, while female students benefit often from family financial support, they are not always encouraged to stay in school as long as male students. In a very patriarchal society, girls reduce their professional ambition to not to threaten their future husband’s dominant role. Finally, those who have a strong background (good previous results, riche family, etc.) accumulate their advantages along the whole trajectory. This phenomenon leads to reflect on the higher education’s role in correcting social inequalities. What's more, in the job market, Chinese graduates from France are often discriminated by their employers against candidates from prestigious American institutions where students are very selected according to their financial conditions.
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Submitted on : Friday, March 26, 2021 - 2:20:09 PM
Last modification on : Saturday, March 27, 2021 - 3:26:26 AM
Long-term archiving on: : Sunday, June 27, 2021 - 6:44:54 PM


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  • HAL Id : tel-03182569, version 1



Tana Bao. Les conditions de réussite et d’adaptation des étudiants chinois en France. Sociologie. Université de Strasbourg, 2020. Français. ⟨NNT : 2020STRAG018⟩. ⟨tel-03182569⟩



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