Family Influence, Academic Experience, and Postgraduate Plans of Chinese Students at the University of Saskatchewan
This paper reports findings from a survey of undergraduate Chinese students at the University of Saskatchewan, in Canada in order to identify what factors affect their postgraduate plans between graduate school and work. There has been much research on factors affecting the transition between secondary and postsecondary educations, including the influences of family socioeconomic status on postsecondary attainment and the social psychological process transmitting social background effects on educational aspirations and attainment. Much less attention has been paid to factors that influence postgraduate plans and attendance. I focus on factors at two levels: individual and familial. At the individual level, undergraduate academic performance, field of study, gender, and age are considered important; at the familial level, parents' expectation and parents' financial support, and family socioeconomic status characteristics, such as parents' education, father's occupation, and family financial status are tested; A total of 163 surveys and 15 interviews were included for data analysis. The results of this study suggest that individual factors, such as undergraduate academic performance and field of study, and familial factors, such as parents' expectation and parental financial supportiveness, all play significant roles in shaping the postgraduate plans of the Chinese undergraduate students at the University of Saskatchewan, beyond the role played by their family socioeconomic status characteristics.