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Internationalisation and Transnationalisation in Higher Education

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Edited By Vesa Korhonen and Pauliina Alenius

Internationalisation have recently featured in discussions and initiatives related to various fields of higher education. Educational leaders, institutions and national policy-makers, but also international actors, such as the European Union and UNESCO, have promoted the internationalisation of higher education. Increasing emphasis on internationalisation has diversified also teaching and learning contexts in higher education and has given rise to a growing need for searching appropriate cross-cultural pedagogical approaches. However, internationalisation in the context of higher education is a multifaceted concept and involves more than just one international dimension in institutional or pedagogical activities. These recent developmental features are examined in the book with the conceptual lense of emerging pattern of internationalisation.

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5. Equal opportunities for learning? An investigation of lecturers and international students’ experiences with learning and teaching in an international classroom (Berit E. Simonsen / Anna Hammershøy / Tanja Miller)

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BERIT E. SIMONSEN, ANNA HAMMERSHØY and TANJA MILLER

5.  Equal opportunities for learning? An investigation of lecturers and international students’ experiences with learning and teaching in an international classroom

Abstract: This chapter addresses some important developments within international higher education. The chapter draws on data collection carried out among both international students and their lecturers within a single two-year Academic Professional programme at a university of applied sciences in Denmark. The data collection was based on a mixed-methods approach and included non- participant observation of teaching sessions, focus group interviews with the students, in-depth individual interviews with the lecturers and questionnaire surveys of both students and the lecturers.

The findings show that most international students enter the education as strong and independent agents. Yet they are often placed in a deficit by the institution and their lecturers, as lecturers, knowingly or unknowingly, tend to marginalize the international students by perceiving them as challenging and not as academically strong as their Danish peers. This appears to be caused by the fact that several existing structures and complex social systems severely inhibit the lecturer’s achievement of agency. As such, a low degree of agency among the lecturers may result in a higher tendency to marginalize international students making it difficult to render an international and supporting learning environment for all the students on equal terms.

Background

During the last decade, Denmark has experienced a considerable growth in...

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