Schooling, Parenting and Ethnicity: Asian Migration and Australian Education

Institute for Culture and Society

Lead Researcher: Professor Megan Watkins

About the project

Asian migration is transforming many aspects of life in migrant-based societies such as Australia. In education, an arena of aspiration and anxiety for many parents, social anxieties are increasingly ethnicised drawing on simplistic stereotypes of ‘Asian cultures’. The children of Asian migrants are disproportionately successful in Australian education, but are there different Asian and Western approaches to parenting? Domestic education policies are an important part of this social context. The acceleration of Asian migration has coincided with changes in Australia’s education system such as the greater prevalence of selective schooling and the marketization of education.

This project seeks a more comprehensive and nuanced understanding of the relationship between ethnicity and schooling and the pedagogical role of parenting within this dynamic by comparatively examining the educational practices and values of families of Chinese-, Indian- and Anglo-Australian backgrounds with primary school-aged children. It will explore how ethnicity, socio-economic status, length of residency and other factors, affect parenting choices regarding education. The study will also examine the commonalities and differences within and between these groups.

While the broader study examines these issues in terms of schooling, the PhD project will be geared towards how parental influence extends into students’ choice of tertiary study focusing on the impact of Asian migration at this level of education, with the successful candidate having the flexibility to develop a project that aligns with the aims of the broader study. Based at the Institute for Culture and Society at Western Sydney University, the candidate will be supervised by Professor Megan Watkins(opens in a new window) and Professor Greg Noble, with associate supervision from Associate Professor Christina Ho, University of Technology Sydney.

What does the scholarship provide?

  • Domestic candidates will receive a tax-free stipend of $27,094(AUD) per annum for up to 3 years to support living costs, supported by the Research Training Program (RTP) Fee Offset.
  • International candidates will receive a tax-free stipend of $27,094(AUD) per annum for up to 3 years to support living costs. Those with a strong track record will be eligible for a tuition fee waiver and an Overseas Student Health Cover (OSHC) Single Policy.(opens in a new window)
  • Support for training, conference attendance, fieldwork and additional research costs as approved by the Institute for Culture and Society.

Eligibility criteria

We welcome applicants from a range of backgrounds. In particular, the project is suitable for candidates with a disciplinary grounding in Cultural Studies, Sociology and/or Education.

The successful applicant should:

  • hold qualifications and experience equal to one of the following (i) an Australian First Class Bachelor (Honours) degree, (ii) coursework Masters with at least 25% research component, or (iii) a Research Masters degree.
  • ensure their research proposal is aligned with the ARC Project, Schooling, Parenting and Ethnicity: Asian Migration and Australian Education.
  • ensure their proposal is original, innovative and feasible.
  • have the ability to work as part of a broader research team.
  • have a commitment to the higher research degree culture of the Institute for Culture and Society.
  • be a full-time candidate.

International applicants must demonstrate English language proficiency.(opens in a new window)

How to apply

Follow the step-by-step instructions on the how to apply for a project scholarship(opens in a new window) page.

Incomplete applications or applications that do not conform to the above requirements will not be considered.

For questions and advice about the research project, please contact the Lead Researcher;
Professor Megan Watkins:

For questions and advice about the application process, please contact the Graduate Research School:

Applications close 05 August 2020

*Applications close at 11.59pm Australian Eastern Standard Time (AEST).

Scholarship reference code: 2021_080_ICS