An investigation of the factors that influence Chinese students to do a Master of Professional Accounting (MPA) program in New Zealand

Yang, Qiufan
Hooper, Keith
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Master of Business
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Auckland University of Technology

More and more Chinese students choose to study abroad. New Zealand is one of the top choices. Many Chinese students come to New Zealand to continue their study. Accounting is a crucial part of business and decision making. Accounting is a popular subject choice among many Chinese students. Having an accounting degree as well as professional qualification is considered important. Auckland University of Technology (AUT) has developed a Master of Professional Accounting (MPA) program. This gives students an opportunity to gain an accounting degree and also satisfy an entry requirement of the professional qualification.

Current research is focusing on studying the factors that influence Chinese student to do a MPA program in New Zealand. The central research questions are: what are the factors that influence Chinese students to study in MPA program? What are the reasons that Chinese students choose to come to New Zealand? Research is based on a qualitative approach. A semi-structured interview is conducted and ten interviews are collected from AUT postgraduate students, who are from China mainland. Grounded theory is used to analyse the data, and four findings are drawn from the data analysis, they are as follows:

 Chinese students choose programs based on “needs” rather than “interests”. They choose a university based on their confidence of the university.  Chinese students comment there is a high demand for accountants worldwide, and indicate to become a professional accountant is important. However the MPA program as a pathway to the membership of professionals is not well recognized by students in other programs.  To study abroad is popular choice with the pleasant environment of New Zealand a main advantage which makes participants choose New Zealand as their study destination.  Chinese students notice the difference in education between New Zealand and China, and prefer the western style.

After testing and analysis of all data and interview memo, two themes are developed. They are “preference of career oriented qualification” and “living and study destination”. These two themes are refined as “Chinese students prefer a high western qualification that is career oriented” and “choosing New Zealand is to seek a better life and study style”. Finally, by analysing all data, findings, and themes, the researcher develops a theory, that is:

The recognition of high western career-oriented (accounting) qualifications is expected to bring better opportunity, and influence Chinese students’ choices of (MPA) programs in New Zealand.

Master of Professional Accounting , Chinese students
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