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Services for international students


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Members Sharing presentation delivered by Sue Marshall at the 2012 BLA conference held in Stirling from 4-6 July.

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Services for international students

  1. 1. Services for International Students – Review at Lanchester Library Coventry University Sue Marshall Subject librarian Coventry University
  2. 2. My role• Library representative for international students• Main contact with the International Office• Arrange inductions and tours• Ensure the library meets the needs of international students
  3. 3. International students – statistics• 24,655 students• 3911 are international – non European (15.8%) – 1814 Business, Environment & Society – 1583 Engineering & Computing• 7612 international including European (30.9%)• 174 countries represented
  4. 4. International students – by country
  5. 5. Services provided before the review• Library web-page with a glossary of library terms• Designated staff member with responsibility for international students• Specific induction for international students• Diversity training for staff• Run focus groups with international students
  6. 6. Why review?• Ensure we are providing a good service• Benchmarking• Find new ideas
  7. 7. What we did• Survey of other university library websites• Review of the literature• Lis-link archives to see findings of previous investigations• Consulted SCONUL Guidelines on international student support
  8. 8. What we found - SCONUL Guidelines• 17 Key concepts – Some already adopted – Points to give more thought to • Managing expectations • An awareness of varying teaching and learning styles to underpin information literacy training • Regular staff development in cross-cultural awareness • “International students are not a homogeneous group”• List of ‘Good ideas or special touches’ e.g. • Recognition of international holidays and festivals • Multilingual dictionaries and links to online dictionaries • Employ international student buddies
  9. 9. What we found – literature review• A lot of literature from US, Canada, New Zealand and Australia• Most focused on international students from Asia, India and China – little mention of students from Africa• Most were benchmarking exercises and provided similar kinds of services• Language not only problem – differences with teaching, library systems• Useful literature about teaching international students
  10. 10. What we found – website evaluation• 22 websites evaluated – 11 universities that participated in the 2010 International Student Barometer – Others from Midlands area and featured in reports or literature• Some websites were only visible to current students• Contained links to useful external websites, including news, language and internal university services• List of staff who speak other languages• Ensure our web-pages use plain language
  11. 11. What we found – Lis-Link• Most common services provided were;• Specific tours for international students – Bookable – “on the move” talks to small groups – Chat sessions – Catalogue demo and explain how books are found on the shelves• Support for students on pre-sessional English courses• Extra help points• Printed leaflets specifically for international students• Video• Web pages including list of library jargon
  12. 12. What have we done differently?• Managing expectations – Web pages more visible – available before arrival at university – Induction material available prior to coming to university• Developing induction video• Additional material on webpage including news, language and study skills• Staff training session – work of the International Office• Provided questions for focus group run by the International Office
  13. 13. What next?• Review ‘special touches’ in SCONUL Guidelines• Purchase books about cultural awareness and teaching international students• Displays and exhibitions in the library relating to culture, film, literature, arts