UoL Library Blog

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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.

3 Responses to “What international students are letting themselves in for”

  1. sarahw9 said

    This week we heard from a tutor in the Medical School about the high level of plagiarism and poor referencing and lack of reading from students for a particular dissertation. Is technology making it easier to plagiarise / not read ‘proper’ material – yes! Or are our expectations of the type of work people can produce greater than before?

  2. sarahw9 said

    …how technology shapes the future of scholarship starts here!

  3. gazjjohnson said

    It’s very familier – I ran into this issue at York. I used to set credit bearing exercises for my students where there were no right answers (e.g. build a three element search). The number of overseas students who came to see me to ask “What answer should we put?” or even wrote my question down as the answer. Baffling, and not something we can resolve individually as librarians I think.

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