About the Project

Africans in Asia. China and Malaysia as the new destinations for Nigerian migration” is a research project established for the duration of three years (2013-2016), sponsored by the National Science Centre, Poland and affiliated with the Institute of Mediterranean and Oriental Cultures of the Polish Academy of Sciences, Warsaw, Poland. The project was initiated and is headed by Dr. Malwina Bakalarska, an African studies scholar and specialist in cross-cultural communication.

This research project focuses on three countries: Nigeria, Malaysia and China in the context of the South-South cooperation. It aims to explore and evaluate reasons, processes and results of short-term educational migration of Nigerian students into these two Asian countries on two levels: individual and institutional. Cultural and sociological aspects exposed in this research will complement the political and economic background of current Asian-African relations.

Qualitative methodology dominates in the research approach resulting in the extended use of in-depth individual interviews (mainly biographical interviews), Focus Group Discussions and field observation at selected universities in Malaysia (2014), China (2015) and Nigeria (2015). Analysis of the media discourse on image of Africans (and especially Nigerians) migrants in China and Malaysia is also included in the research.


  • The main research questions for Asian field research dedicated to Nigerian students relate to the following aspects:

– Circumstances related to decision of choosing to study at Malaysian or Chinese university

– Evaluation of Asian educational offer

– Challenges in adaptation process as an African/Nigerian in China/Malaysia

– Plans after graduation from Malaysian or Chinese university


  • The main research questions for African field research dedicated to Nigerian students relate to the following aspects:

– Evaluation of their studies at the Chinese/Malaysian University from the time perspective

– Influence of the experience of living in Asia on their professional career


  • The main research questions for Nigerian field research dedicated to representatives of Nigerian universities relate to the following aspects:

– Institutional motivation for establishing academic exchange/cooperation with Malaysian and Chinese universities

– Results and advantages of these programmes for university’s staff and students