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Understanding Student Engagement and Achievement in Chinese Universities: A Study of Beijing College Students

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AbstractChina’s higher education system has experienced a profound process of restructuring and transformation from elite to mass higher education in the past decades. College students are struggling with an increasingly disconnected learning experience which is caused by a more competitive learning environment. Under these new circumstances, what is the nature of student engagement in China’s colleges and universities? How do different forms of student engagement affect undergraduates’ success in college? This empirical study examined self-reported data of 18,607 students from 55 Chinese colleges in Beijing through structural equation modeling. The main findings are: student learning experience in college is integrated; different forms of student engagement have a complex mechanism of impacting on each other and consequently directly and indirectly contribute to student gains in college. Findings indicate that institutions in China and other Asian countries need to capture a comprehensive picture of how students change through assessing student overall college experience from a variety of perspectives.

Affiliations: 1: Peking University; 2: Boston College


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