Harvey, Halina Margaret (2014) An analysis of international students' experience in British higher education. Masters thesis, University of Huddersfield.

This thesis is an analysis of the learning experiences of international students in British higher education. The aim is to evaluate students‘ perceptions of the similarities and differences between home and UK learning cultures. The findings are analysed in order to inform teaching and learning practice. There is a particular focus on the transitional stage of learning and how adaptation/acculturation occurs within individuals. The literature suggests that the personal experiences of people moving from one country to another can be complex. Models of adaptation and the influence of second language learning are assessed. Data from interviews with twelve students studying on Business courses was collected. Each student‘s individual experience was analysed through methods guided by narrative inquiry. This method seeks to gain a deep understanding of individual lived experiences through narrative. Narratives have been created based upon the interview transcripts. Further to this, a content analysis was undertaken, using the research questions as a framework. The main outcomes and findings show that international students find the initial stage of studying in the UK causes anxiety in terms of using English as a foreign language. This anxiety can affect academic confidence. International students also find instructional language difficult to engage with. They have less guided learning hours in the UK than at home, therefore independent study can pose a new challenge. Students suggest that the British curriculum lacks international focus. It is recommended that international students would benefit from targeted linguistic and academic skills support at the transitional stage of learning. Also UK institutions should deliver inclusive teaching and learning where internationalisation informs the whole curriculum.

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