Some experiences of non-EU international students following an Access to Higher Education Diploma course in a general further education college in the North of England

Mike Saunders, Roy Fisher

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


This study provides a basis for deepening understandings of approaches which offer effective and enhanced learning experiences for predominantly East Asian international students following provision alongside local students in UK general further education colleges. A mixed methods approach employed a largely quantitative questionnaire to access the views of 25 international students, 22 of whom were Chinese nationals, and to identify four participants (two Chinese, one Japanese and one Maldivian) for subsequent semi-structured interviews. This fieldwork was supported by the collection of college achievement data for the international students and for the local students who had studied directly alongside them. The outcomes indicate that the international students achieved at least as well as the local students in relation to academic outcomes, and that they valued teachers who allowed their cultural experiences to directly contribute to classroom learning. The study also highlights the importance of inter-cultural activities. More prosaically, the outcomes also suggest that important concerns for these international students were that they should receive clarity in answers to their questions as part of the processes of learning, as well as the resolution of ostensibly more peripheral issues such as the quality and type of food available in the college catering outlets.
Original languageEnglish
JournalResearch in Post-Compulsory Education
Publication statusAccepted/In press - 23 Mar 2020


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