PROPOSING A NEW CONSTRUCT: ACADEMIC CULTURAL DIVERSITY IN STUDYING ABROAD

Mohammad Sadeghi

Abstract


The present study is an attempt to introduce, define and explore a new construct called Academic Cultural Diversity (ACD) through narrative-interviewing the first year International Students (FIS) as well as the lecturers’ of the University of Pecs, Hungary (UP). Up to 2015, according to the monthly newsletter published by UP, 2,500 international students came to peruse their academic career at this university. This figure was impressive enough to encourage me to explore if the diversity of their academic cultural background boost or hinder them reaching their study abroad expectations. A close look at their exam results in the first year indicates that a large proportion of them get extremely low score and fail the exams several times over their first study abroad academic year. As an example, on the basis of the evidence currently available, 68 out of 79 (86%) FIS majoring in Pharmacy at the UP who took the exam course “Analytical chemistry” in 2016, failed and had to re-take the course in the next semester. To address the mentioned problem, the present study is an attempt (i) to explore the most common and crucial ACD faced by FIS at the UP from students’ perspective (ii) from their lecturers’ perspective (iii) to see how similar or different they view the notion “low academic performance” of FIS (iv) to introduce and define ACD as a new construct in the field based on the available literature and the findings of the current study. Thirty international students from 30 countries and five university lecturers at the UP participated in this study to uncover the key factors of the low academic performance of FIS. A narrative interviewing as a means of data collection was administered to elicit data from both students and their lecturers with regards to their present and past experiences for further analysis and comparison. The results are significant in three respects: (i) ACD is an absolute context-specific notion which can boost or hinder FIS academic performance across contexts (ii) Lecturers and FIS are different in their opinion in a way that some of their different beliefs diverge dramatically, and often do.

 

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academic cultural diversity (ACD), first year international students (FIS), low academic performance

References


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DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.46827/ejes.v0i0.450

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