Understanding the Academic Pathways and Experiences of Sub-degree Transfer Students
Principal Supervisors

Professor Ning Hoi Kwan Flora
Professor Stephen W.K. Chiu
(Department of Sociology)
Professor Chow Ka Ming
(The Nethersole School of Nursing)
Professor Chun Ka Wai Cecilia
Professor Irwin King
(Department of Computer Science and Engineering)
Professor Xu Jiang
(Department of Geography and Resource Management)
Professor Mo Kit Han Phoenix
(The Jockey Club School of Public Health and Primary Care)
Dr. Will W.Y. Ng
Professor Wong Yi Lee Eilly
(Department of Educational Administration and Policy)


2 years and 6 months

Approved Budget

HK $750,000

  • Abstract
  • Brief write-up
  • Video Report


The recent years have witnessed the continuing growth of sub-degree graduates’ admission into universities in Hong Kong, yet little research has been carried out to evaluate the learning experience and performance of this student population. The focus of this TDLEG project is to understand sub-degree transfer students’ educational pathways and experiences and examine their relevance to university success and satisfaction. A mixed-methods sequential explanatory design is adopted for this project involving the use of both quantitative (student administrative data and survey data) and qualitative data (interviews). Based on the knowledge gained from the analyses, we will provide suggestions and recommendations to the university and relevant stakeholders and help devise strategies to guide policy and practice change. The specific areas which will be focused upon are: curriculum design, professional development, and admission policies. This project is well-aligned with the goals of CUHK and CLEAR (Centre for Learning Enhancement And Research) to facilitate quality research and provide evidence-based recommendations to improve teaching and learning.

Brief write-up

Project objectives
  • To assess the characteristics, academic experience and performance of sub-degree transfer students enrolled in CUHK
  • To examine differences between two types of transfer students (first-year intake vs senior-year intake) in regard to their educational experiences
  • To compare the educational experiences of transfer students with JUPAS students

Activities, process and outcomes

  • Entry and Exit surveys – together with some administrative data – of different cohorts were collected
  • 64 Transfer students were recruited from three faculties for in-depth interviews: Social Science, Nursing, and Engineering
  • 11 JUPAS students were recruited from these three faculties as a control group

Deliverables and evaluation

We plan to make suggestions to the three faculties as to how to make university adaptation easier for transfer students as well as JUPAS first-year students.

Dissemination, diffusion, impact and sharing of good practices

Briefing sessions are planned to be conducted for the three faculties for their faculty members.

Video Report

Please click the following link for viewing the report.