Working with international students as co-researchers: towards an inclusive education community


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Presentation by Julie Wintrup and Kelly Wakefield (University of Southampton) at the Research-Teaching Practice in Wales Conference, 10th September 2013, at the University of Wales, Gregynog Hall. Slidecast edited by Professor Simon Haslett.

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Working with international students as co-researchers: towards an inclusive education community

  1. 1. Working with international students as co-researchers: towards an inclusive education community Julie Wintrup and Kelly Wakefield Research-Teaching Practice in Wales Conference 9th – 10th September 2013, Gregynog Hall, Newtown, University of Wales
  2. 2. Overview • Context of research • Research questions • Methodology / methods • Response from students so far • Hopes and plans 2
  3. 3. Context of research • International competition hotting up, UG seen as growth area • UK: seen as having ‘stringent immigration policies …will divert students to US, Australia, Canada’ (WES, 2012) yet strategic goal of HEIs • UoS: of 20 000+ students, one fifth international • Project funding – from internal transition project, small scale, university-wide • Feedback – a strategic goal for improvement 3
  4. 4. Forkert: Cash cows and job poachers? • 4
  5. 5. Video: Daniel Corradi Stevens, NUS 5
  6. 6. Contributions from the literature • Scudamore: students often remain in ‘in-country’ groups • Scudamore: Language skills not thinking ability generally assessed • Preston-Shoot: Students’ words and perspectives usually interpreted / expressed by others (academics) • Numerous authors: the importance to students of a sense of belonging • Barnett: ‘ecological’ engagement and ‘feasible utopias’ 6
  7. 7. Personal experience • National / professional frameworks inform curriculum (often not abstracted or critiqued) esp. in vocational subjects • Gender issues may compound social isolation (eg student societies) and influence study / work groups, relationships • Religious beliefs / cultural norms often a no-go area • Reticence to use support services, counselling, finance, GP • Added vulnerability / visibility in student areas 7
  8. 8. Research question/s • What can we learn from international students about verbal forms of feedback? • Are there common issues or ideas for improvement across Faculties / disciplines? Methodologically: • Is participatory-type research possible / practical given students’ other commitments and priorities? • Are we learning new or different things from student-coresearchers? 8
  9. 9. Methodology • A (limited) form of participatory / action research, with 1 PI (me) and 1 SRA (Kelly) • With the aim of improving verbal feedback practices 9
  10. 10. Practicalities • University ethics approval • Volunteers sought by email • Followed by workshops • Interviews, by students and by SRA, using conversational techniques + interview schedule, in pairs and small groups • Some Skype interviews (remote campuses) 10
  11. 11. Response so far • 113 original enquiries regarding participating, 88 participants replied to secondary email • 23 interviews so far (5 by Skype), 5 interviews planned • 38 Amazon vouchers given out • 1st workshop in July, 26 attendees • 2nd workshop planned later in September, 18 attendees (no requirement to attend workshops) 11
  12. 12. Interviews to date • Interviewees from all 8 Faculties, all PG (M or D) • Attempt to match interviewees with those from other Faculties and with an interviewer if requested to be an interviewee (some students said they would be happy to do both). • Most interviews conducted reciprocally in 2s, some interviews have been done in 3s by student choice. • Either conversational or more traditional interview, depending on their preferred style. 12
  13. 13. Students from.. • China, Iraq, India, Pakistan, Malaysia, USA, Germany, Netherlands, Bangladesh, Nigeria, Mexico, Hong Kong, Venezuela, Taiwan, Ghana, Kenya, Ukraine, Turkey, Vietnam, Italy. 13
  14. 14. Workshop 1: generating the questions 14
  15. 15. 15
  16. 16. References: • Barnett, R. (2013), THE, Head in the Clouds, Feet on the Grou • Forkert, K. (2012) Mute (blog) Cash cows and job poachers? Non-EU students and austerity policies • WES (2012) Trends in International Student Mobility • Scudamore, R. (2013) Engaging home and international students: A guide for new lecturers. HEA. Available at 16