Crossing borders . . . shifting sands: An investigation of Chinese students’ study experiences in the UK and China
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In the current landscape of higher education in the UK, international students play a key role. It is an environment in which they not only cross borders physically but also transition through various identities as they develop their professional and linguistic confidence and skills to fully access and contribute to their programme of study and beyond. The aim of this paper is to outline the results of an empirical investigation into Chinese students’ perceptions of their study experiences in the context of student mobility and English-medium instruction in higher education. It reports on a study of two groups of Chinese students – one group studying in an English-speaking environment, the other in their home country where instruction is delivered through the medium of English. Semi-structured focus group interviews were conducted at each site which focused on the transition of “crossing borders” for educational purposes. The data was analysed using thematic analysis (Clarke & Braun, 2016). The main finding was that both groups experienced remarkably similar learning issues, despite being located in very different learning environments and crossing different types of borders.
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