, Volume 52, Issue 4, pp 467–487

Research Productivity of Returnees from Study Abroad in Korea, Hong Kong, and Malaysia

  • Jung Cheol Shin
  • Jisun Jung
  • Gerard A. Postiglione
  • Norzaini Azman


This study analyzes whether academics with advanced degrees from foreign universities are more research productive than their domestic counterparts in the three selected East Asian higher education systems – Korea, Hong Kong, and Malaysia. The three systems have relatively large proportions of foreign degree holders among their professoriates. The data for this study is drawn from the Changing Academic Profession survey. In our negative binominal regression analysis, we found that foreign degree holders are not more research productive than their colleagues with domestic degrees, and even slightly less productive than domestic degree holders in soft disciplines (arts, humanities, and social sciences) in Korea unless they have further foreign post-doc experience after their PhD. Furthermore, foreign degree holders are less productive in hard disciplines (natural sciences, engineering, and bio-medical sciences) in Malaysia. Finally, we discuss the findings and attribute them to contextual differences between the three localities.


Study abroad Research productivity Returnees Korea Hong Kong Malaysia 


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  • Jung Cheol Shin
    • 1
  • Jisun Jung
    • 2
  • Gerard A. Postiglione
    • 2
  • Norzaini Azman
    • 3
  1. 1.College of EducationSeoul National UniversitySeoulSouth Korea
  2. 2.Faculty of EducationThe University of Hong KongPokfulamChina
  3. 3.Faculty of EducationUniversiti Kebangsaan MalaysiaBangiMalaysia

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