Highlights of the 16th Seminar in the Policy and Comparative Development Studies Seminar Series
The sixteenth Policy and Comparative Development Studies Seminar Series was held on 2 June 2022. The seminar was presented by Mr. Liang Ao with the topic of ‘Examining the intentions to seek the postgraduate educations (professional degree) among university students in China: the moderating effects from the role of social network (Guanxi)’.
Along with the expansion policy on Chinese postgraduate education in 2020, the development of Chinese professional postgraduate degrees has been advocated once more. However, it has been discovered that the development of Chinese professional postgraduate degrees has been slower than expected in the past. In this regard, the present study has used a novel theoretical framework that differs from traditional perspectives to identify some viable options for Chinese governments to consider in order to promote the development of professional postgraduate degrees in the future. Standing in the shoes of students, the study used a consumer behavior perspective to examine the student's intention to seek professional postgraduate education, as opposed to a classical perspective of the Theory of Planned Behavior that assumed the student had not any interests-orientation. Similarly, the study discovered the exogenous impact of the social network in the Chinese context, as opposed to the endogenous impact proposed previously by Theory of Planned Behavior. According to the findings of a series of analyses, the student's perceived value has a significant impact on the student's intention to pursue postgraduate education (professional degree) in China. Furthermore, the exogenous impact of the Chinese social network has a corresponding impact on the role of student perceived value on student intention.
According to the empirical results, the present study suggested Chinese governments should enhance the value of professional postgraduate degrees and pay more attention to the student's social network as a mean of promoting the student's perception of the degree's value in future development. Following that, some policy recommendations were made to the Chinese governments and relevant divisions, based on policy experiences from the European Union, Korea and Germany, included information-based policy instruments, treasury-based policy instruments, and organization-based policy instruments.