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Listening to staff and students talk about the internationalisation of higher education: highlights from a focus group study Dr Fiona Hyland ESCalate,

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Presentation on theme: "Listening to staff and students talk about the internationalisation of higher education: highlights from a focus group study Dr Fiona Hyland ESCalate,"— Presentation transcript:

1 Listening to staff and students talk about the internationalisation of higher education: highlights from a focus group study Dr Fiona Hyland ESCalate, Subject Centre for Education The Higher Education Academy New perspectives of Internationalisation 12 June 2009

2 A Changing World: the internationalisation experiences of staff and students (home and international) in UK Higher Education Dr Fiona Hyland, Dr Sheila Trahar, Dr Julie Anderson & Alison Dickens Funded by The Higher Education Academy

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4 Aims To explore the perspectives of students and staff on: what the terms 'internationalisation' etc, mean to them, the extent of internationalisation within their institution, the effects on teaching and learning, their challenges & successes,

5 Methods 15 Focus groups in February to May locations with participants from across UK A range of disciplines e.g. Business, Engineering, Education, Sociology, Arts, English, Mathematics Separate groups of international & home students Topic guide

6 Key Challenges as perceived by staff & students in the study Internationalisation HEI Strategy & Staff Buy-in Entry Requirements for Students Curriculum Teaching & Learning Issues Student Interaction

7 HEI strategy & staff buy-in internationalisation means recruitment; it means reaching out and pulling students in". Staff probably in a lot of cases the people who decide how many students (as many as possible) are not the people who then have to deal with them... So I think the problem is basically that the system has become too financially driven without, you know, care for the quality Staff

8 Entry requirements Concerns about how English language tests (IELTS, TOEFL) are used, what scores are required one person I lived with actually … its a sad story, because she was doing a music course, and she actually had to quit her course because she couldnt cope. I was like Well why did the University let her in? – I, kind of, got a bit angry… they really shouldnt have let in if her English was so bad that she couldnt cope with the course. (Home Student, edited)

9 The Curriculum For the international marketplace Embedding internationalisation vs tagging on extra modules / case studies Different disciplines, different approaches Accreditation restrictions Graduate attributes

10 Teaching & Learning Yeah, when I came to the lecture room it seems like white people sit at the back, white people, and then in the middle some like me, yellow coloured people, and then at the front, black people. And when they divide groups, just like Malaysia students will go with Malaysia students. Muslim students would like to go with Muslim students. White people will get white people together.. people are still sitting (like this) for a whole year International Student

11 Teaching & Learning Staff suggestions: what worked for them Group work was seen as challenging, but effective when encouraged

12 Student Interactions Cultural cliques Language HEI and degree course barriers Cultural differences in socialising

13 Student:I guess we didnt mention it (alcohol), because its so obvious, its just there. Student… my interpretation of the word sociable is: helpful, supportive, friendly, maybe patient, things like that. It turned out to be different here. Moderator what is it here, your perception? StudentAs experienced in my hallway, it means being able to drink more than 10 pints of beer an hour. If you can do that, youre very sociable. Otherwise, you may be intermediate.

14 Internationalisation at Home We dont do it actually (make the effort to get to know international students). I mean thats the problem. Its also our responsibility to find out and we dont actually do it, we find so many excuses, like I have to do this, and this, and this. (Home Student)

15 Conclusions Internationalisation HEI Strategy & Staff Buy-in Entry Requirements for Students Curriculum Teaching & Learning Issues Student Interaction

16 Generally, this is a positive report: internationalisation enriches lives So no matter how much I might have tried its only by having students from Ghana, from Nigeria, from Taiwan and from India who when they talk about (their contexts) you can begin to understand the parallels and the contrasts and comparisons and it brings a dynamic to the learning that is so real, so alive, so energised, that no textbook, no amount of me preparing to remember to say oh and in Singapore it might be different, oh and in Canada they do this'. Theres no way that I could have created that. That is a very dynamic and creative element of the learning for students and for me. (Staff)

17 Developing intercultural competencies in international higher education communities: initiating European conversations A BAICE / ESCalate event Tues 22 nd September 2009 University of Bristol Speakers: Dr Hanneke Teekens Dr Matthias Otten Professor Martin Haigh

18 A Changing World… Report Developing intercultural competencies… event, 22 nd September 2009, Bristol


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