An Exploration of the Motivation of Chinese Students for Studying in a Master of Education Degree in Canada
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China has become the largest source of international students moving to western countries including the USA, the UK, Australia, and Canada (OECD, 2016). Research on international students’ motivation to study abroad provided insights into the benefits of overseas study and categorized potential factors under the “push and pull” model which divided these motivators into aspects of both the home and host countries. However, few studies focused on Chinese international postgraduates’ decision-making process. Using a basic interpretative qualitative research method, this study explored the motivations of Chinese students pursuing a Master degree in an Ontario university. Data was collected by open-ended in-depth interviews. Participants were eight Chinese international students from a Master program specialized for international students. The narratives provided information as to why they chose to study in Canada, with the themes summarizing this information under the push and pull factors. The findings indicate that of the various reasons cited for deciding to study abroad among the students surveyed, immigration was the primary motivation. The reasons given by the students for wanting to emigrate from China can be explained by a number of push and pull factors, as can their decision to study abroad.