What international students are letting themselves in for
Posted by knockels on 25 September, 2008
Interesting read in the Guardian, by a newspaper editor from India, who is also on the faculty of a journalism college in Chennai.
He argues that the large number of international students from China and India may trip over some of the differences between higher education practice in those countries and the UK. He cites his own experience in India of institutions not teaching academic skills like referencing, study skills or time management. This could put burdens on staff at UK institutions, who may have to fill in those gaps. And universities (in the UK, is the implication, though I am not sure) may be ignoring their own guidelines on English language requirements for overseas students, leading to students not being able to cope with their course.
Whether these things are widespread or not I do not know, but even if they occur only in some places, there are implications for us as librarians working with international students. I have noticed with masters’ courses in biomedical sciences that a lot, even perhaps a majority, or students are international students, and that they have variable levels of English (although infinitely better than any language that I can manage) and computer skills. If the practices in this article are widespread, then we can expect that to continue, and we can expect an impact on things like referencing skills.