Understanding the Impact of COVID-19 on Behavior Changes and Decision Making of Chinese Students and Researchers in the UK

Hui Yang, Huiru Zheng, Xi Liu

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With the outbreak of COVID-19 in Wuhan and the subsequent worldwide pandemic, oversea Chinese students and researchers (CSRs) have been hit twice, i.e. worrying about their families during the first phase and then experiencing the pandemic outbreak in a foreign country (UK) as a second hit. This study surveyed 179 CSRs in the UK via an online questionnaire to understand their behavioral patterns, risk assessment, and decision-making intentions during the two phases of the pandemic. The survey showed that (1) CSRs have experienced greater changes in behaviors such as leaving their rooms and going outside, engaging social interaction, hygiene habits, and hoarding; and fewer changes in physical health, daily routines, and sleep patterns; (2) During the second phase, the concerning on risk of contracting COVID-19 was significantly increased from 7.8% to 20%; (3) About 60% of CSRs were not confident that they would get effective help in the UK, which was mainly related to the UK's pandemic prevention policy, public awareness, NHS ambulance service regulations, and the medical treatment of COVID-19 in the UK; and (4) A quarter of CSRs had returned or were planning to return to China, and nearly 3/4 of CSRs had decided to remain in the UK because of factors such as academic work, financial pressure (flight tickets have become very expensive), potential risk of infection on travel, taking a wait-and-see attitude, or being optimism that the pandemic would be over soon.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationProceedings of Collaborative European Research Conference 2020
EditorsHaithem Afli, Udo Bleimann, Dirk Burkhard, Robert Loew, Stefanie Regier, Ingo Stengel, Haiying Wang, Huiru Zheng
PublisherCEUR Workshop Proceedings
Number of pages17
Publication statusPublished (in print/issue) - 17 Feb 2021
Event6th Collaborative European Research Conference - Belfast, United Kingdom
Duration: 10 Sept 202011 Sept 2020

Publication series

NameCEUR Workshop proceedings
ISSN (Electronic)1613-0073


Conference6th Collaborative European Research Conference
Abbreviated titleCERC2020
Country/TerritoryUnited Kingdom
Internet address


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