A qualitative exploration on the challenges of transfer students in an asian educational context

Shirley Siu Yin Ching, Kin Yuen Tam, Lillian Weiwei Zhang, Jeremy Ng, Kin Cheung

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review

5 Citations (Scopus)


Limited research has been conducted on community college (CC) transfer students’ (TS) experiences in four-year universities, particularly in Asian contexts. To fill this research gap, in this qualitative study, 124 TS from various disciplines in a Hong Kong university participated in 39 focus groups and seven individual interviews. Unlike their Western counterparts, our TS were relatively better prepared and more academically adaptive. Nevertheless, their social integration was restricted by a lack of time for extra-curricular activities, a sense of inferiority and incompetence, and restricted social circles that did not enable interaction with non-TS. These challenges and their implications are discussed. In particular, this study has highlighted differences between the special education systems for CC transfer in Hong Kong and those in Western CC models. The study has also highlighted the study-induced stress, and poor self-perceptions that TS experience, despite their academic abilities.

Original languageEnglish
Article number3238
Pages (from-to)1-14
Number of pages14
JournalInternational Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - 21 Mar 2021


  • Academic adjustment
  • Higher education in Asia
  • Psychological well-being
  • Self-identity
  • Social integration
  • Transfer students

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pollution
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
  • Health, Toxicology and Mutagenesis


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