Looking at the Problems International Students Face in the UK
Experience of foreign students is diverse and takes time in learning as well as adapting to issues within its purview. The UK is well known for its many esteemed institutions that house a healthy percentage of international students every year. In fact, study shows that in the year 2007-2008, there were 15% of foreign students who came to study in this place.
With such a huge influx, they are bound to face a lot of problems while adapting to this foreign land. Especially students hailing from developing countries face issues such as cultural gaps, language barriers and also adjusting with the educational system.
This is a study to be conducted for understanding the myriad complexities faced by the international students in the UK. The target group will obviously consist of these students, and therefore, this will help at identifying their issues.
Introduction – Background of the study
International education has become more of a commodity nowadays. Multifarious factors such as linguistic patterns, geographical locations and historical connections are taken into consideration when international students get screened for admission. After the PMI or the Prime Minister’s Initiative, the UK has focused more on increasing the educational sector’s periphery to overseas students. Moreover, it is the developing countries’ dependency on progressive countries such as the UK. So, it is crucial to excavate the experience that international students go through here.
Statement of problem
Both pre and post arrival issues need to be formulated so that a thorough understanding of the student’s problems comes up clean. However, grouping them as one homogenous hub shall not prove fruitful as European Union does not abide by VISA requirements unlike students from different countries. Therefore, identifying their problems will lead to denote the major contributors to the issues.
Objective of this research
The primary objective of this research shall be –
- Examining the relationship between students’ country of origin and the number of complexities faced.
- This research will shed light upon all problems originating from country backgrounds.
This research shall be conducted with the following hypothetical statements:
How do international students of developing countries face problems more than those of developed nations?
How do they find it extremely difficult to cope with culture shock and also linguistic glitches in this diverse educational system?
According to Lowe & Tian 2007, studies conducted on these students do not treat them individually but as a homogenous group. Chalmers & Volet, 1997 says about the stereotypes developed by the host institutions for the international students and judge them accordingly. This same notion has also been stated by Hanson and Zambito.
Scholars like Mazzarol & Soutar talk about the various social and economic factors that work as driving forces in their home country. This notion has been further explained by Butcher & McGrath in their 2004 works. Linguistic barriers are the biggest issues, says Brown, and their struggle to adjust to particular British accent makes this struggle a bit daunting. Achieving a clear transition and adapting effortlessly to the environment should be stressed upon, as penned by Sovic. Important issues such as guidance and proper explanation of the support given should be clarified immaculately. Further studies in Australia showed how these students face dire problems in language proficiency and adapting to a foreign educational setup. These studies illustrated that students from overseas are subjected to increased levels of stress.
Significance and Utility of this research work
- This study shall help in benefitting many stakeholders and also the students by providing them with a realization about their individual needs.
- Ways of reducing their stress and problems in the UK shall be worked upon.
- International students are to be guided properly so that clarity regarding the mechanism of the educational society gets established.
- The social needs including training sessions are vital factors that will be propounded throughout the research.
Apart from identifying all problems faced by international students including the most recurring ones, this research will also concentrate on the country-specific concerns that crop up during their student life in the UK. Lastly, it is the number of ways that can be devised to lower these problems that are to be deduced from this research.
Variables for this research
The “problems” that these students face comprise the dependent variable portion while the independent variable is “Environment of the origin countries”.
Certain factors go in this variable such as –
- Availability of scholarships for international students.
- Number of esteemed educational institutions and immigrant population in the host country.
- Facilities available for students in the universities.
Target Audience –
International students aged 18 shall be the primary target group. Students above 18 coming from diverse fields are also under the target audience hub.
Sample Size –
A minimum of 300 shall be the standard sample size for this research. Maximum number of international students from 1 country shall not be more than 50.
- Self-administered survey questionnaires
These are the two primary procedures which will be employed for this research study. It shall rely upon both qualitative methods as well as quantitative analysis. Statistical tools will be used as per requirement.
What shall be the instrument design?
The types of scales to be used are –
- Liker scale
- Multiple Choice Checklist
- Open-ended queries
It will be complicated to select the major universities as this will depend upon their location, structure of fees and the percentage of international students.
Some of the post arrival factors falling include –
- Insurance application.
- University accommodation or private accommodation selected.
- Local police registration.
- Bank account opening and acquiring debit-credit cards.
- Part time job.
- Cultural friction experienced.
- Income tax rule followed.
Likert Scale has been chosen for the research work. The points of measurement 1, 2, 3 and 4 shall be obtained provided the student responds to the following questions –
- From which country do you come?
- Why select this university?
- How did you know about it?
- Received any invitation to induction programme?
- Was adjusting easy?
- Say about the most difficult factor you came across?
- Rate adapting to English in terms of effort?
- Is it easy to communicate with students?
- Is it easy to socialize with UK students?
- How problematic was finding accommodation?
- Used the international student support system?
- Was it okay to contact office from home country?
- Did the office collaborate at guiding you with issues like bank account opening?
- What do you like studying at your university?
- Things that you would alter at this university.
Analysis of the data
- Scatter diagrams
These are the major tools for utilising to interpret the results derived. Next comes the questionnaire which shall be analysed as per country origin. Pareto charts will also come to use for determining the most contributing stress factors. The findings from the research shall provide insight on why and what are the factors that cause such distress and how to reduce them optimally.
What are the limitations of this study?
This research is limited within the periphery of UK universities. Direct observation is not going to be possible of students. The results shall be derived only from the questionnaire devised and the statistical data analysed.