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Chinese students at an Australian university: Adaptability and continuity

Volet, S.E.ORCID: 0000-0001-8450-6663 and Renshaw, P.D. (1996) Chinese students at an Australian university: Adaptability and continuity. In: Watkins, D.A. and Biggs, J.B., (eds.) The Chinese learner: Cultural, psychological and contextual influences. Hong Kong University Press, pp. 205-220.


This chapter concentrates on Chinese learners studying in Australian universities. It is argued that adoption of a deficit model to describe Chinese students' learning in the Australian literature has contributed to creating a distorted view of these students' learning. Three salient aspects of the stereotyped view of Southeast Asian students are examined for evidence of accuracy, adaptability and continuity in the Australian context, rote vs deep learning, achievement orientation and participation in tutorial discussions. A number of studies, conducted with Singaporean students predominantly of Chinese origin, revealed that Chinese learners at university in Australia demonstrate a strategic adaptability in their attempts to meet the new educational requirements, and an advantageous and wise continuity in maintaining a high academic orientation.

Item Type: Book Chapter
Murdoch Affiliation(s): School of Education
Publisher: Hong Kong University Press
Copyright: 1996 Comparative Education Research Centre: Hong Kong & Australian Council of Education Research: Melbourne
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