Burnapp, D. and Dickens, A. (2009) Easing the transition: staff development for improving the experience of international students in UK HE. Seminar Presentation presented to: University of Northampton Learning and Teaching Conference, Sunley Management Centre, Park Campus, Northampton, 13 May 2009.
This talk will report on two projects which support and inform staff working with international students in UK HE. The first, a staff development course, was developed over several years from a series of workshops run by Dave Burnapp with funding from the Subject Centre for Languages, Linguistics and Area Studies, which aimed to raise awareness among staff of the acculturation issues encountered by international students making the transition into the academic culture of UK HE. This approach to developing 'mindfulness' (Gudykunst 1998) was written up as an M level course accessible Online course as self-study material or in book form for use as part of an accredited course delivered through face-to-face workshops. The course draws on a range of literature relating to learning, culture, internationalisation and on case studies of current practice in working in an international context. The second project was a small-scale study carried out by two HEA Subject Centres which gathered data on staff and student experiences of internationalisation through focus groups held across a number of disciplines and institutions. This report draws out some of the key areas for HE that need to be approached 'mindfully' in order that international students are well supported in their studies in the UK. The report highlighted the need for a greater emphasis on 'internationalisation at home' and more support for staff teaching in an internationalised classroom.