Why Go Home to China? Voices of Chinese Alumni from an Australian University

Dr Jasvir Nachatar  Singh5

5La Trobe Business School, La Trobe University, , Australia

A few years ago, Chinese international students would want to stay and eventually migrate to Australia upon graduation. However, a recent trend shows that Chinese international students do want to go back home to their country. However, little is known as to why Chinese international students studying in Australia want to repatriate home. This paper closes the gap by employing semi-structured interviews with 19 Chinese graduates who studied at one Australian university and returned home upon graduation. Based on a thematic analysis, the results of this study highlight the push and pull factors for their repatriation decision back to their homeland, China. The push factors include stricter Australian migration policy, discrimination towards Chinese graduates by Australian employers and difficulty in obtaining suitable employment in Australia. Conversely, the pull factors include China’s booming economy and family pressures. The paper also discusses the micro (graduates and higher learning institutions) and macro (Australia and China economic) implications of the repatriation decisions made by Chinese graduates.


Dr Jasvir Singh is a lecturer at the Department of Management, Sport and Tourism, La Trobe University. Dr Singh’s research expertise is in higher education with a particular interest in exploring international students’ matters and has published numerous journal papers and presented at several international higher education conferences.


The Asian Studies Association of Australia (ASAA) is the peak body of university experts and educators on Asia in Australia. Established in 1976, we promote and support the study of Asia in Australian universities and knowledge of Asia among the broader community. Our membership is drawn mainly from academics and students, but also includes industry and government Asia experts. We take a strong interest in promoting knowledge about Asia in schools and in contributing to state and Commonwealth government policies related to Asia. We provide informed comment on Asia to a broad public through our bulletin, Asian Currents, and specialist research articles in our journal, Asian Studies Review. Four book series published under our auspices cover Southeast Asia, South Asia, East Asia and Women in Asia.

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