Date of Award

Summer 8-2021

Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)



First Advisor

Margaret Grogan

Second Advisor

Keith Howard

Third Advisor

Maria L. Martinez


The rapid development of technological advances and increased cross-border labor mobility have brought about complex challenges and significant changes over the last several decades. Global competence is considered by many organizations and educational practitioners as one of the essential skills and abilities required for young adults to live and work intellectually and cooperatively in today's globalized and intercultural world. Further, students' global competence is often applied as the criteria to evaluate the effectiveness of internationalization of higher education institutions. A number of scholars have well-documented how various internationalization activities contribute to the development of undergraduates' global competence. Although some Chinese researchers have conducted empirical studies to assess students' global competence in the context of Chinese higher education, there are few studies focusing on private university students. In an effort to help fill in this knowledge gap and enhance the diversity of participants in empirical studies, I present through this study an investigation of global competence of undergraduates at Chinese private universities and the effects of internationalization activities on students' global competence. In this study, I also examined the effects of demographics on students' global competence. I created an online survey and collected 873 participants' demographic information, internationalization experiences, and their self-perceived global competence. I used descriptive statistics, t test, ANOVA, and MANOVA to analyze the responses. Overall, results indicated undergraduates at Chinese private universities had a moderate global competence level. There were no significant differences among the groups regarding gender, academic levels, and GPA. Yet, students who majored in humanities and social science, came from urban areas, had overseas traveling experience, or traveled abroad for a longer time appeared to be more globally competent. Findings also revealed students participating in more internationalization activities tended to have higher global competence levels. Private postsecondary institutions are an indispensable part of Chinese higher education. I hope the policy and practical implications offered in this study can inspire administrators and practitioners at private colleges to enhance the internationalization of private higher education institutions and develop students' global competence through more creative and innovative activities.

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons License
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