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Smiles And Challenges: Multi-Dimensional Perspectives Of Thai Post-Graduate Students In The UK

Cleary, Angela M. (2016) Smiles And Challenges: Multi-Dimensional Perspectives Of Thai Post-Graduate Students In The UK. In: Papers from the Education Doctoral Research Conference 2015. University of Birmingham, Birmingham, pp. 36-44. ISBN 9780704428621

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The stereotypic image of smiling, passive Thai students masks the hidden depths of cultural conflict and academic challenges encountered while studying in the West. Researchers in Australia and North America investigated problems experienced by International students at Western universities but there is a sparsity of research into the experiences of Thai students.

Academically gifted Thai students reported various problems while studying in the UK which raised serious concerns and initiated this research project. The research of others, interviews with students and their teachers, questionnaires, classroom observations, reflective journals and group discussions provided a wealth of data which challenged Hofstede’s arguably superficial portrayal of Thai nationals. A picture emerged of complex individuals from a diverse nation never colonised by a Western power. Pedagogical and cultural background influenced the academic and social adaptation of the participants to the challenges and pressures of studying for a one year Masters degree at three UK universities.

International students provide a major financial income for UK universities and with this benefit comes responsibility to provide the highest quality education. This study challenges pre-conceptions of stereotypic generalities. It highlights the importance of recognising the individuality of international students and assumptions of national identities. It aims to augment existing research thereby providing a source of valuable pedagogic and cultural information for teachers and their Thai students to their mutual benefit.

Type of Work:Book Section
School/Faculty:Colleges (2008 onwards) > College of Social Sciences
Number of Pages:9
Department:School of Education
Date:March 2016
Subjects:L Education > LB Theory and practice of education
Related URLs:
Copyright Status:Copyright in individual papers is owned by the respective author(s) and no paper may be reproduced wholly or in part (except as otherwise permitted under the Copyright, Designs and Patents Act 1988 as subsequently revised) without the express permission in writing of the author(s). Enquiries concerning reproduction outside these terms should be sent in the first instance to the School of Education, University of Birmingham, Edgbaston, Birmingham B15 2TT, UK.
Copyright Holders:The author
ID Code:2140

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