This paper examines the role of transnational higher education in reproducing local patterns of disadvantage in Hong Kong. Specifically, it considers the expectations and experiences of local students undertaking British degree programmes, drawing on the findings of a recent qualitative research project. In this paper, we argue that through the introduction of so-called 'top-up' programmes, British universities are providing degree-level education to students unable to access local higher education (HE) in Hong Kong through the 'traditional' route. Drawing upon our interviews with students and graduates, we show the immense cultural and social expectations, placed upon young people in Hong Kong, to obtain a university degree, and the role of 'international' education in (partially) offsetting the shortfall in domestic university places. However, we also suggest that these students/graduates are in various ways relatively disadvantaged by these degrees – they often have less cultural capital and social capital on which to draw, and find that their degrees are less valued than their local equivalent. There are broader implications of our findings for understanding the role of transnational educational provision in localised reproduction of (dis)advantage, especially in East Asia.
full text here: http://www.socresonline.org.uk/17/3/6.html