Date of Award


Publication Type

Master Thesis

Degree Name



Sociology, Anthropology, and Criminology

First Advisor

Gregory Feldman




This thesis explores the motivation behind China's policy on international students. It seeks to explain why China forms a policy without clear benefits for Chinese people. Using the concept of instrumentalist and organizational realist approaches, the thesis is centered on political competition and political pursuit to analyze the documents of China's international education policy. The main findings of this thesis expound that the ruling class makes China's policy on international students an instrument of achieving political goal. The thesis indicates that the policy is not in the best interest of the public and the public have not effectively participated the process of policymaking. It argues that China expects that some of the international students would become the leaderships of their home countries and establish friendly relationships with China in the future. The policy made by the central government suggests China's ambition to vie with western powers; whereas the policymakers from provincial governments and universities attempt to pursue higher political positions. The thesis shows that as the ruling class in China, the Chinese Communist Party used the state as an instrument for pursuing their own interests.