An Exploratory Case Study of Hui, Tibetan, and Uyghur College Student Acculturation in a Predominantly Han Public Research Institution of Higher Education in Central China
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Even though the People’s Republic of China has instituted national policies to provide greater higher education access to Chinese ethnic minorities and facilitate greater maintenance of ethnic minority cultures, limited research exists that examines acculturation and stress coping processes of ethnic minority college students, particularly Hui, Tibetan, and Uyghur students, as they transition from their native communities and autonomous regions to predominantly Han public research institutions of higher education located in urban areas of Central China. The purpose of the study is to deconstruct the acculturation experiences of Hui, Tibetan, and Uyghur college students enrolled in a predominantly Han public research university in Central China. A discourse on acculturation experiences of ethnic minority college students in predominantly Han universities is critical to developing institutional policies that embrace cultural sensitivity of ethnic minority students in China; adequately represent the heritage of ethnic minorities and help them preserve their cultural integrity; link the content of the education to ethnic minorities’ values and worldviews; and ensure that ethnic minorities have the academic and social support in their institutions of higher learning. The methodological framework that informed the study is a constructivist, naturalistic perspective. The sample consisted of 29 respondents of which 22 were Hui, Tibetan, and Uyghur Xi’an Jiaotong University students, and seven Xi’an Jiaotong University staff. Data was derived primarily from two sources: interviews with respondents; and observations of participants and campus of Xi’an Jiaotong University prior to, during, and after interview sessions. Salient conclusions of the researcher included: Cultural distance is a significant moderating factor impacting how Hui, Tibetan, and Uyghur respondents adapt to a predominantly Han university in Central China; the narratives of most Tibetan and Uyghur respondents portrayed a campus climate that is indifferent to their feelings of isolation and loneliness, and where Uyghur students, in particular, prominently encountered macroaggressions, passive discrimination and exclusion; Uyghur and Tibetan students have lost confidence in their academic abilities and experience dejection due to rigorous academic demands, partly due to their lack of English and Mandarin proficiency; Xi’an Jiaotong University does not provide sufficient academic and social support to Tibetan and Uyghur students.
ethnic minority acculturation in China
Hui, Tibetan, and Uyghur acculturation in China
ethnic minority acculturation in a predominantly Han university.
Garcia, Diego Jose (2016). An Exploratory Case Study of Hui, Tibetan, and Uyghur College Student Acculturation in a Predominantly Han Public Research Institution of Higher Education in Central China. Doctoral dissertation, Texas A & M University. Available electronically from
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