The Decision-making Mechanism of Hong Kong Students Pursuing Higher Education in Taiwan


Purpose – This study aims to find out why some students from Hong Kong (HK) consider higher education in Taiwan, rather than in China or elsewhere. It also attempts to build a decision-making model to advance the conventional push-pull logic associated with this particular issue.
Design/methodology/approach – The authors interviewed 11 undergraduate students from HK via an in-depth interview. Interviewees were recruited by snowball sampling. To protect the privacy of the interviewees, all names of the informants in this paper are pseudonyms.
Findings – A dynamic decision-making mechanism, which includes three major layers, namely, the macro, meso and micro levels, has been developed to demonstrate that HK students made their decision based on a recursive fashion with bounded rationality, rather than on a linear fashion with complete rationality.
Research limitations/implications – Although the relatively small number of interviewees has limited the representativeness of the research, the authors suggest that rather than claiming representativeness, the study attempts to tease out the diversity of the decision-making process and mechanisms.
Originality/value – The drastic increase in the number of HK students in Taiwan proves the current research study, which is the first qualitative research on the phenomenon, as a timely one. In addition, the present study is one of the few examples of studying students’ international mobility from a more economically advanced region (HK) to a less economically advanced one (Taiwan).
Keywords Hong Kong, Taiwan, Bounded rationality, Cross-border higher education, Decision-making mechanism Paper type Research paper