Higher Education

, Volume 54, Issue 5, pp 759–780 | Cite as

Choosing Canadian graduate schools from afar: East Asian students’ perspectives

Original Paper


This study seeks to explain why and how international graduate students from East Asia choose to come to Canada to pursue advanced education. A synthesis model is developed to explain their decision-making process, while a push–pull model is used to understand the strengths of and relationships among various factors that influence the choice of a country, institution, program, and city. The research sample comprised 140 students from China, Hong Kong, Japan, Korea, and Taiwan who enrolled in graduate programs at two large Ontario universities. The research findings reveal the influence of Institutional Academic Pulling Factors, Institutional Administrative Pulling Factors, the Canadian Environment, the Economics of Canadian Education, and the ease of Visa/Immigration. The research shows a three-stage process, guided first by the focus of the program (i.e., research-oriented vs. professional programs). Other factors—country, institution, and city—interplay simultaneously at the later two stages.


College choice Graduate education International education International students Attitude 


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2006

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Management, University of TorontoScarboroughCanada

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