Relevant Degree Programs
Affiliations to Research Centres, Institutes & Clusters
Migration and adult education and learning; Lifelong learning in Asia; Work and learning;
Complete these steps before you reach out to a faculty member!
- Familiarize yourself with program requirements. You want to learn as much as possible from the information available to you before you reach out to a faculty member. Be sure to visit the graduate degree program listing and program-specific websites.
- Check whether the program requires you to seek commitment from a supervisor prior to submitting an application. For some programs this is an essential step while others match successful applicants with faculty members within the first year of study. This is either indicated in the program profile under "Admission Information & Requirements" - "Prepare Application" - "Supervision" or on the program website.
- Identify specific faculty members who are conducting research in your specific area of interest.
- Establish that your research interests align with the faculty member’s research interests.
- Read up on the faculty members in the program and the research being conducted in the department.
- Familiarize yourself with their work, read their recent publications and past theses/dissertations that they supervised. Be certain that their research is indeed what you are hoping to study.
- Compose an error-free and grammatically correct email addressed to your specifically targeted faculty member, and remember to use their correct titles.
- Do not send non-specific, mass emails to everyone in the department hoping for a match.
- Address the faculty members by name. Your contact should be genuine rather than generic.
- Include a brief outline of your academic background, why you are interested in working with the faculty member, and what experience you could bring to the department. The supervision enquiry form guides you with targeted questions. Ensure to craft compelling answers to these questions.
- Highlight your achievements and why you are a top student. Faculty members receive dozens of requests from prospective students and you may have less than 30 seconds to pique someone’s interest.
- Demonstrate that you are familiar with their research:
- Convey the specific ways you are a good fit for the program.
- Convey the specific ways the program/lab/faculty member is a good fit for the research you are interested in/already conducting.
- Be enthusiastic, but don’t overdo it.
G+PS regularly provides virtual sessions that focus on admission requirements and procedures and tips how to improve your application.
Great Supervisor Week Mentions
#greatsupervisors appreciation @edstubc #ubc Hongxia Shan, @AnnetteMHenry, and Shauna Butterwick, my transnational mentors and allies
It's Supervisor Appreciation Week at #UBC. Kudos to my #GreatSupervisors Dr. Alison Taylor and Dr. Honxia Shan @edstubc for challenging my thinking while supporting and sharing their wisdom with me!
Graduate Student Supervision
Doctoral Student Supervision (Jan 2008 - Nov 2020)
Ethnic-Chinese immigrants, or immigrants of Chinese ancestry, have comprised the largest inbound group to British Columbia (BC) since 1980. It is imperative for them and their multicultural host society to grasp how these populations negotiate their heritage maintenance. This inquiry explores parent perceptions on heritage maintenance for their ethnic-Chinese children in BC, which consists of the maintenance of heritage language (HL) and the negotiation of cultural identity. Conceptually, my research draws upon Darvin and Norton’s Model of Investment, Bourdieu’s notions of capital, and Coleman’s family capital. This collective case study involves interviewing, individually and in groups, a total of eight family cases (14 parents), each comprising one or two parents who have an ethnic-Chinese child enrolled at one BC public school which offers a Mandarin Bilingual Program. The researcher and the participants co-construct meaning through dialogue. In order to encourage a holistic exploration, participants were recruited with diverse migratory trajectories, heritage languages, and immigrant generations/landing ages. Participants expressed a wide range of perceptions on heritage language and cultural identity. Some identified both with Canadian society and the heritage country, some identified primarily with one, and some felt a loss of identification with either. Findings suggest that these varying perceptions may be influenced by migratory trajectory and immigrant generation. In terms of HL, most participants expressed that they enrolled in the MBP for pragmatic reasons, i.e. career prospects, family communication, and psychological protection, rather than to foster cultural identity. Most parents valued bilingualism in the HL and see Chinese HL as one or more forms of capital; however, opinions on the growing global value of Chinese vary. Furthermore, the linguistic expectations and assumptions experienced by ethnic Chinese, perpetrated by both dominant Anglocentric culture and Chinese communities, are illuminated. In conclusion, the discussions and implications include the unanticipated benefits of low dominant language ability, issues of embodied racialized identity, the normalization of marginalization, class issues triggered by economic divides, the differing parental bearings of mothers versus fathers on their children’s education, heritage language as a conceptual link between identity and heritage maintenance, the silver lining of HL loss, and possibilities for heritage renaissance.
Master's Student Supervision (2010 - 2018)
To reverse “brain drain”, the Chinese governments have deployed various mechanisms, including preferential policies, to recruit ethnic Chinese individuals from abroad who are considered top talent urgently needed in China. This study looks at how Chinese overseas recruitment policies contribute to the construction of overseas talent as a distinguished social group, thereby entrenching stratification in the Chinese society. Theoretically, the thesis is informed by Bourdieu’s theory of social class and by Levinson et al.’s perspectives on policy function. The main focus is the Thousand Talent Plan (TTP), which is the China’s most influential policy for recruiting top-notch talent from abroad. My study starts with a historical overview of talent policies in China, giving special attention to the social and economic context of the changes. Critical discourse analysis is then employed as a methodological approach to examine how such policies ideologically differentiate the “best from the rest.” I argue that Chinese overseas recruitment policies have the formative power to construct and impose a legitimate vision of “top” overseas talent as a distinguished social group: a minority privileged with cultural capital, advantageous economic capital, privileged social capital, and honourable symbolic capital. Study limitations and implications for policy and practice are discussed.