This presentation will summarise the preliminary findings of our study which aims to document and analyse the experiences and well-being of Chinese and Chinese-presenting international students in the UK. The important contextual factors of this study include (1) the rise in hate crimes against East Asian communities in the early part of the COVID pandemic and (2) the continued increase in the number of Chinese students, who comprise the largest group of international students in the UK. Earlier research suggested that concerns around safety – both in relation to the COVID pandemic and racist incidents could affect student mobility from China.
Our study draws together data from freedom of information (FOI) requests, an online survey and semi-structured interviews to investigate (1) perceptions and experiences of aggression and (2) students informational practices during the pandemic. The latter refers to how students may have communicated their experiences of aggression and with whom. We employ insights from media studies, law and criminology, cultural sociology, and sociological studies of ‘resilience’ and social capitals to interpret our data. Our findings are intended to establish an evidence base to enable university staff and local communities to improve strategies and practices of safety and well-being of these students.