Research digest for practitioners: September 2015

Research digest for practitioners: September 2015

What do Chinese students, Japan’s internationalisation, and Finland’s educational export industry all have in common? They are all topics of articles in the latest volume of the Journal of Studies in International Education, published in September 2015. This ongoing blog series highlights the major findings and takeaways that may be relevant and useful to practitioners in the field. The overarching theme of each article will help you locate the most relevant research to your scope of work.

Patriotism Abroad: Overseas Chinese Students’ Encounters With Criticisms of China

Topic: International Student Segregation

By: Henry Chiu Hail

With the growing influx of Chinese students studying around the globe, this article explores how Chinese international students perceive interactions with host country members at an American university. Drawing on interviews with Chinese students, the study found that host country students, while interested in learning about China, often approached discussions with misinformed and biased views. These discussions lead to uncomfortable situations for the Chinese students, who experienced sensitivity to criticism and a desire to avoid such discussions as a way to achieve harmony in the relationship, yet at the same time a deeper loyalty to and increased salience of their national identity. The author suggests that educators work to facilitate classroom discussions with a focus on cross-national interaction to help ease the communication between international and host country students.

Toward One of the Leading Education-Based Economies? Investigating Aims, Strategies, and Practices of Finland’s Education Export Landscape

Topic: Higher Education as an Export

By: Monika Schatz

Over the years, there has been growth in selling higher education to international students and markets. Finland is one of the countries that has recently started building up its education export sector, countering its otherwise non-commercial position towards education. This study highlights the aims, strategies, and practices from different stakeholders’ (ie the Finnish government, Finnish education institutions, and the private sector) perspectives.

The Internationalization of Research in Europe: A Quantitative Study of 11 National Systems From a Micro-Level Perspective

Topic: Internationalisation of Research

By: Marek Kwiek

International research collaboration is an important aspect of higher education internationalisation as it is central to institutional strategies and strategic partnerships. This study explores research productivity and international publication co-authorship from data collected in 11 European countries. Findings suggest that European academics involved in international research collaboration have higher rates of research productivity when compared to academics who are not involved in international research. Furthermore, the rate of international co-authorship is also higher for European academics involved in international research than to those not involved.

A Narrative Inquiry Into Academic Experiences of Female Saudi Graduate Students at a Comprehensive Doctoral University

Topic: International Student Experience: Female Saudi Students

By: Robyn E. Sandekian, Michael Weddington, Matthew Birnbaum, and J. Katee Keen

With the King Abdullah Scholarship Program, enrolment numbers in Saudi Arabia, specifically of female students, have increased over the years. This article highlights the academic experiences of female Saudi graduate students enrolled in an American university. From the findings, the authors suggest recommendations that practitioners may find useful when working with Saudi students:

  1. It is suggested that educators be aware of the strong patriarchal attitudes of male Saudi students which may inhibit female Saudi students in the classroom.
  2. For group work, the authors suggest placing Saudi students in smaller groups (2-3 people) to encourage more active participation and to mitigate language barriers.
  3. Educators should be sensitive to selecting appropriate assessment methods for non-native English students.
  4. University staff can also welcome incoming Saudi students (and international students) by asking what information would help them better integrate into their new learning and living environment.

The Internationalization of Japan’s Academy Across Research and Non-Research Universities

Topic: Internationalisation of Higher Education in Japan

By: Futao Huang

This study highlights internationalisation efforts in Japan from the individual, institutional, and academic perspectives. The author finds that internationalisation of higher education in Japan is focused mainly on student mobility, both incoming and outgoing. Over the recent years, although the Japanese government has implemented new strategies to encourage internationalisation in other areas, student mobility continues to be the central focus. Approximately 20% of Japanese academics are supportive of efforts to internationalise the curriculum. Japanese academics working at research universities have reached higher levels of international research activities, than those academics at non-research universities.

Leasa Weimer is Knowledge Development Adviser at the EAIE

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Leasa Weimer
EAIE, the NetherlandsLeasa is Knowledge Development Adviser for the EAIE.