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Supporting international students on professional doctorate programmes

Burton, Rob and Kirshbaum, Marilynne (). Supporting international students on professional doctorate programmes. Word Based Learning eJournal International,1:109-121.

Document type: Journal Article
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Title Supporting international students on professional doctorate programmes
Author Burton, Rob
Kirshbaum, Marilynne
Journal Name Word Based Learning eJournal International
Year Available 2013
Volume Number 1
eISSN 2044-7868
Start Page 109
End Page 121
Total Pages 14
Place of Publication United Kingdom
Publisher Middlesex University
1110 - Nursing
Abstract This paper explores academic, personal and professional challenges associated with the increasing recruitment of international students to university programmes, particularly professional doctorate programmes. The discussion notes the ‘culture shock’, ‘adaptation’ and a ‘change in self-­perception’ that international students face highlighted by Scherto (2007) and suggests how these should be considered. The three broad priority areas of pre-­‐course information, pedagological  issues and academic supervision are addressed. It is argued that this structured input should begin with the provision of clear information about what a professional doctorate is and the requirements of undertaking such a programme. The importance of finding ways of conveying this message to candidates from overseas requires careful consideration. Students need to understand their roles and responsibilities, and the instructional/assessment approaches to which they will be exposed, which may differ from their previous educational experiences. Therefore it is imperative for professional doctorate programme teams to gain a meta-­‐awareness of cultural differences relevant to education and research. In an attempt to maximise the experiences of international students, programmes involving working and supporting each other in groups can be beneficial. Peer coaching is a recommended method for assisting students in developing academic and practical ways of progressing through the programme. Research supervision functions best when it is responsive and flexible to each student’s character, approach to study, confidence and ability. By gaining intercultural awareness students can be supported in designing, conducting and reporting upon the research successfully.
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