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The global curriculum – widening access for international students Dr Debbi Marais.

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1 The global curriculum – widening access for international students Dr Debbi Marais

2 Defining international students What do we mean by the term International student?

3 Defining international students Those students who have been educated in a national education system outside the UK and who on the whole are likely to be non- native speakers of English Jan Bamford, London Metropolitan University - Strategies for the improvement of international students’ academic and cultural experiences of studying in the UK

4 Is this a ‘minority’ issue? International (non-UK) students in UK HE in ,230 compared with 428,225 in (overall  2%)  8% FT UG  5% FT PGR  2% FT PGT 14% of FT UG students 69% of FT PGT students 48% of FT PGR students PGT student numbers increased by 42% between 1995 and 2003 (Stuart et al., 2008)

5 Where are they from?

6 Where do they study?

7 Why do they come to Aberdeen? 1 st for Psychology 3 rd for Politics 5 th for Biological Sciences 10 th for Chemical Engineering 11 th for English 18 th for Economics 18 th for Medicine 24 th for Pharmacology & Pharmacy >25 for Nursing; Law; Aeronautical and Manufacturing Engineering; Mechanical Engineering; Civil Engineering; Electrical & Electronic Engineering; Computer Science; Mathematics; Accounting & Finance; Business & Management Studies; Marketing; Communication & Media Studies; Hospitality, Leisure, Recreation & Tourism; Drama, Dance & Cinematics; Music; Art & Design; Architecture

8 University of Aberdeen (2012) % international students >650 undergraduate programmes >140 Taught Masters programmes From 120 countries Mostly Nigeria, India, China

9 Challenges Group 1 - Inside the Classroom Group 2 - Outside the Classroom Divide into 2 groups & discuss the potential challenges you perceive for international students ….

10 ‘Life outside the classroom’ Challenges Adjustment New surroundings – physical & cultural (food), religion Climate Social and emotional well-being Support/Family (here & at home) Making friends and building networks Engaging with the broader community / Isolation Pressure to do well/progress Accommodation Finances/Employment Visa regulations

11 ‘Inside the Classroom’ Challenges Diversity English Language proficiency Learning/Studying experience differences in study methods compared to their home countries were a challenge, particularly in the first few weeks of their course Graduate Attributes/Employability skills eg. Plagiarism, IT skills understanding the accents of other students or even the lecturer’s pronunciation. Students who only just meet the language entry requirement - independent study required at a very early stage of the course is problematic Not speaking up in class can make it difficult for tutors to gain a clear picture of the levels of English language ability and the understanding of the students central language support was inadequate - offered at too basic a level and some of the important information needed, such as how to reference properly, not given Group work

12 Digital ‘DIVIDE’ Digital Natives vs Immigrants <1980 Digital immigrants st generation Digital natives > nd generation Digital natives Not only age/generation - Level of ‘comfort’ Breadth of use (no of activities and extent it penetrates all aspects of life) Experience (>5 years of internet usage) Self-efficacy (rating self) Education Possible disconnect between learner and tutor or members of groups

13 Different academic cultural expectations I call my teacher Dr. Xxx A good teacher notices I need help and offers it. A good teacher tells me the questions and tells me good answers To learn, I must listen to the teacher. Really listen. I read the textbook many many many times. I know that the examination questions and answers will be from the textbook. I tell my students, ‘Call me Debbi’ My students must ask for help. Then I will help with study-based issues. I select the issues but the students must find their own answers I want students to talk about problems and issues with each other. What’s their conclusion?..argument? I want students to read around the subject…. Diversity in Nationalities/Cultures Turner (2006) pointed out - there is a danger of unconsciously imposing our own cultural behaviours and expectations on international students, who do not have a working knowledge of UK cultural expectations and behaviours Diversity in Nationalities/Cultures Turner (2006) pointed out - there is a danger of unconsciously imposing our own cultural behaviours and expectations on international students, who do not have a working knowledge of UK cultural expectations and behaviours

14 Cultural differences & stereotyping

15 Opportunities Divide into 2 groups & discuss the opportunities to widen access to YOUR classroom

16 Opportunities Develop intercultural competencies See colleagues/students as a learning resource - provide insights into how systems & discipline is taught/practised elsewhere Develop a cultural ‘meta-awareness’ - Be sensitive to diversity in the classroom without being patronising Manage expectations eg. Plagiarism, working in groups, passing Globally-relevant curriculum Not just content but way of thinking Examples from countries that students are from, developed and developing, not only UK Balance of what they already know and repetition Student integration/engagement What teaching methods do you use that encourage participation and engagement?

17 Opportunities – Early Support Before arrival Pre-arrival information Pre-arrival contact with other students from that country (social media) Pre-sessional support especially for English language proficiency; reading lists; sample lectures online; examples of assignments; stories from previous students Arrival meet & greet at airport and campus tours Evidence that 1 st 6 weeks vital to establish sense of belonging & commitment to course Peer Mentoring - communicating with those who have already progressed in their studies [skills, details on the nature of a subject being taught, help with approaches to assessment, provide support for language difficulties and a social framework for studies] Local Language/Study Skills Group - communication and interaction between students to be encouraged In the second semester - as students become more comfortable with their surroundings and their peers, they become more confident and relaxed about contributing in class

18 Opportunities – Tailored Support Determine development areas and support skill development GRADUATE ATTRIBUTES = EMPLOYABILITY Example – IT skills

19 The Teaching International Students Project Run by the Higher Education Academy Funded through the Academy, UKCISA & PMI2 2 year project Website with teaching Resources Bank Research database link (IDP, Australia) Outreach activities and partnerships

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