This article examines cross-ethnic friendships among ethnic minority and Han majority students at a Chinese university. This university is characterized by its institutional mission to meet the needs of ethnic minority students and its commitment to serving as a minority-majority university. However, our study demonstrates that high levels of intergroup contact cannot be presumed in ethnically diverse environments. In fact, patterns of cross-ethnic friendships varied widely among ethnic minority and Han students as a result of various factors such as language fluency and ethnic homophily. Gordon Allport’s intergroup contact hypothesis provided a useful conceptual framework to highlight the conditions that either constrain or promote positive intergroup contact and cross-ethnic friendships in higher education settings.
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