PhD Lin Chen

Research project: PhD Lin Chen

Lin Chen

How Do Migration Networks Facilitate African Student Mobility and Integration in China? A Social Network Perspective on South-to-South Migration



According to China’s Sixth Population Census (China National Bureau of Statistics 2011), 62% of all international immigrants in China are located in Beijing, Shanghai and Guangdong. African students show the most rapidly increasing growth rates among all international immigrant groups. Few empirical studies have investigated this emerging and increasing migration population in China. Therefore, this research project aims to look into the specificities of African student migration to China. The PhD will address five research questions (RQ). The first RQ will picture African migration to China during the recent decades and look at the composition of the African migrant population in terms of education and occupation and to the local distribution of African migrant groups in China. The second RQ will investigate the patterns and motivations of African student migration to China. More specifically, the PhD will investigate how self-selection mechanisms in terms of socioeconomic background, education level, major compositions and language diversity pattern the migration behavior of these African migration groups. The third RQ will focus on the facilitating impact of existing pre-migration social impact of social networks on migration decisions among African students in China. The fourth RQ will address the role of post-migration social networks with respect to African’s student’s integration into the Chinese community and their decision making of a professional career path in China. The fifth and final RQ will address inequalities that African students face in the labor market and social welfare system, their wellbeing under the current policies and social environment, and the impact of these aspects on their decision to stay in China or return home for their career development. A mixed-method approach will be used to answer these research questions.