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Transnational articulation programmes are one way China is attempting to advance its higher education (HE) system. We report a study of twelve Chinese students’ experiences in two China-Australia 2 + 2 articulation programmes. In our analysis of semi-structured interviews, we use Bourdieu’s concepts of field and habitus to understand the impact on the habitus of the students. We report the experiences of the Chinese students in the HE sub-field in Australia. Students were like fish in water with the logics of practice of Chinese HE. In the new sub-field of HE in Australia, their habitus was out of place. This field/habitus mismatch created a field-habitus dissonance that can be productive of change to the habitus. Some in the study strategised to overcome this field-habitus mismatch and to adjust to the logics of the new field. We designate this emergent habitus as an in-between, diasporic cosmopolitan habitus, while others were able to ‘compartmentalise’ the demands of the new field, indicating durability of habitus.


Institute for Learning Sciences and Teacher Education

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Journal Article

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