Chinese University Students’ Intercultural Competence

Reconceptualization and Assessment


  • Xiaotian Zhang University of Macau
  • Mingming Zhou University of Macau



intercultural competence, measurement validation, reconceptualization, Chinese university students, 21st century skill


Intercultural competence (IC) is considered as an essential soft skill for successful functioning in the globalized society in the 21st century. However, there is still a lack of culturally appropriate framework and instrument to understand and assess Chinese university students’ IC development. The purpose of this study was to design a valid and reliable scale for assessing Chinese students’ IC. Based on the AAA (Approach-Analyze-Act)-Chinese framework, a 30-item Intercultural Competence Scale-Chinese Version (ICS-CHN) was developed and validated with confirmatory factor analysis. Subsequent multigroup confirmatory factor analysis model further proved the measurement invariance of ICS-CHN in different gender groups. Together with its adequate reliability, convergent and discriminant validity, it is reasonable to conclude that ICS-CHN is a reliable and valid scale, corroborating that IC is a combination of affective/attitudinal, cognitive and behavioral skills and characteristics applied in intercultural encounters.

Author Biographies

Xiaotian Zhang, University of Macau

XIAOTIAN ZHANG, Dr. Zhang obtained her PhD in Education from the University of Macau in Macau SAR, China. Her research has centered on leveraging modern technology to facilitate the advancement of intercultural competence and well-being. Her work is also dedicated to bridging the gap between the fields of cross-cultural psychology and educational technology through the use of rigorous and innovative approaches. Email: 

Mingming Zhou, University of Macau

MINGMING ZHOU, Dr. Zhou received her PhD in Educational Psychology from Simon Fraser University in Canada. Her research focuses on technology use for academic purposes, including how students search information online for learning, and how psychological factors affect the use of technology. She is also dedicated to researching about effective ways to improve university students’ intercultural competence. Email:


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How to Cite

Zhang, X., & Zhou, M. (2023). Chinese University Students’ Intercultural Competence: Reconceptualization and Assessment. Journal of International Students, 13(4), 169–194.



Research Articles (English)