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International PGT Students: Needs and Experiences Matthias Benzer, Afua Twum-Danso Imoh, Matt Wargent, Alexandra Kaasch Department of Sociological Studies.

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Presentation on theme: "International PGT Students: Needs and Experiences Matthias Benzer, Afua Twum-Danso Imoh, Matt Wargent, Alexandra Kaasch Department of Sociological Studies."— Presentation transcript:

1 International PGT Students: Needs and Experiences Matthias Benzer, Afua Twum-Danso Imoh, Matt Wargent, Alexandra Kaasch Department of Sociological Studies Kindly supported by LeTS

2 Objectives contribute to cultivating the internationalisation of learning and teaching in Sociological Studies contribute to the department’s potential to recruit overseas PGT students

3 Substance of the Study elicit views of PGT international students ( ) MA Global and International Social Policy MA Social Research MA Childhood Studies ( only) on their needs / preferences prior to studying with us their experiences during their SCS programmes what was valuable / unhelpful with regards to inclusive teaching approaches international content and global perspectives skills for a global labour market interaction and integration

4 Methodological Issues n = 32 mixed methods* questionnaire (n = 10 / 32) consulted with students on themes focus group discussions (n = 0 / 10) recruitment problems due to… …timing, high research demands on students, or…? *Creswell, J. W. and V. L. Piano Clark (2007) Designing and Conducting Mixed Methods Research. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage.

5 Teaching Approaches All respondents (n=10) listed lectures as suiting personal styles of learning before commencing study. Student-led seminars (n=2), seminars focusing on large group work (n=2), and group study outside the classroom (n=3) were deemed least suited to personal learning styles prior to joining the department. Valuable approaches to teaching and assessment for students were varied: written assignments (e.g. essays) (n=4) lectures (n=3) presentations (n=3) research projects / tasks (n=3)

6 International Content & Global Perspectives Prior to commencing their studies: 9 students listed engaging with international academic content. 7 respondents felt that their programme has ‘very much’ or ‘mostly’ met their desire to engage with international academic content. The rest feel that this is the case ‘to some extent’. 3 respondents added that academic content was chiefly Western, UK/US centric, and one student stated that there ‘could have been a little more theory from other cultural backgrounds’. ‘…it would be beneficial to have access to academic literature from non-Westernized academics, or perhaps academics who did not receive their formal education from Western institutes of higher learning. This may create more diversity to the academic content…’

7 Skills for a Global Labour Market 9 respondents reported that prior to commencing their studies they had deemed it ‘(very) important’ that their programme would develop skills applicable to the global labour market. Specific desirable skills included: writing skills (n=10) quantitative social research methods (n=9), qualitative social research methods (n=8) skills in literature based research (n=8) Independent study skills (n=3), organisational skills (n=2), and team work skills (n=2) were less valued.

8 Interaction and Integration 7 respondents reported that before starting their programme it had been (very) important that the Department would create opportunities for them to interact with UK students. The majority of respondents stated that the Department had created opportunities for them to do so. 8 out of 10 respondents reported that before starting their programme it had been (very) important that the Department would adapt its procedures to their needs (to aid integration). When asked to what extent the Department had adapted its procedures to their needs so as to integrate them, one respondent answered ‘very much so’, 5 ‘mostly’, and 4 ‘to some extent’.

9 SCS Academic and Support Staff Reflections and plans in response to findings: encouragement in key areas inclusion of more non-European cases and examples ? diversify assessment / more formative work ? improve / diversify social events programme SCS self-presentation …preliminary! Staff survey on-going…

10 Contact Matthias Benzer Department of Sociological Studies Elmfield, LG16 Northumberland Road x26406


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