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Dr Jiaxin Chen
PolyU Scholars Hub

Dr Ruby CHEN

Assistant Professor


Dr Jiaxin Chen is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Applied Social Sciences at The Hong Kong Polytechnic University. She received her PhD in Sociology of Education from the Faculty of Education at The University of Hong Kong in 2017. After graduation, she worked at the School of Graduate Studies and Institute of Policy Studies, Lingnan University, as a Research Assistant Professor from 2020 to 2021, and at the National Institutes of Educational Policy Research, Faculty of Education, East China Normal University, as a Postdoc Research Fellow from 2017 to 2020.

Her research focuses include rural-urban inequalities and labour migration in China, mobility and habitus transformation, parental migration and children’s education, and rural community development. She is particularly interested in investigating social inequality issues and influential factors via the sociological lens and qualitative methods.

Her research on migrant children and youth development studies has appeared in top journals, such as The China Quarterly, British Journal of Sociology of Education, and Journal of Youth and Adolescence. Also, she has worked with think tanks and governments at central and local levels in mainland China on policy reports related to education policy reforms, migrant population, talent management in higher education, and education for ethnic minorities in China. Her recent book, Class Consciousness Construction of Migrant Children in China, is forthcoming and published by Routledge.


Dr Chen is currently working on two research projects, academic returnees’ habitus transformation and professional development in Chinese higher education institutions and social stratification in migrant population and its impacts on their children’s education in urban China. She also serves as a reviewer for international peer-review journals, such as the International Journal of Educational Development, Asia-Pacific Education Researcher, Frontiers of Education in China, and ECNU Review of Education.

Since 2020, she has adequately participated in course development and teaching activities in education management and social development topics at undergraduate and postgraduate levels. Also, due to the COVID-19 pandemic, she has been actively developing her courses by adopting hybrid-mode teaching and particularly drawing her attention to improving students’ active online class participation via online platforms and multimedia resources during her teaching.

Education and Academic Qualifications

  • Doctor of Philosophy, Faculty of Education, The University of Hong Kong, Hong Kong
  • Master of Education, Faculty of Education, The University of Hong Kong, Hong Kong

Research Interests

  • Rural-urban inequalities and labour migration in China
  • Academic mobility and habitus transformation
  • Parental migration and children’s education
  • Rural community development
  • Social reproduction and transformation

2020-2022 Lam Woo Research Fund, PI, Mobility of young academic returnees, (re)socialization and sustainable professional development in Chinese top universities.

2018-2020 China Postdoctoral Science Foundation (First-class), PI. Understanding migrant parents’ involvement in education and its effects on their children’s school performance.


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