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Title: A study of overseas students' experience in UK higher education and issues that affect counselling and working with them
Author: Okorocha, Eunice Iheoma
ISNI:       0000 0001 3455 9599
Awarding Body: University of Surrey
Current Institution: University of Surrey
Date of Award: 1997
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The objective of this thesis is to investigate the academic, personal and social experiences of students from overseas as they study in the United Kingdom (UK). This includes an investigation of the sources which extend assistance to them and the extent to which they avail themselves of counselling about problems of adjustment to life and study in the UK. A further purpose is to explore the issues that affect working with them especially those issues which create barriers for counsellors and staff (academic and non-academic) as they work with overseas students. The investigation was carried out in ten universities and two theological institutions in the UK. The research is presented in three distinct, yet connected, parts: problems of adjustment, counselling services and other forms of help and co-operation. Each part comprises a literature review, presentation and discussion of findings as well as recommendations for improvement in the help given. Three perspectives are explored, viz. Overseas students’ views, counsellors’ views and the views of staff (both academic and non-academic), by a combination of qualitative and quantitative approaches and these perspectives are related through the extensive use of triangulation. Similarities were found in the perspectives as reported by the three groups of respondents in regard both to the problems of overseas students and the barriers in the operation of counselling and other services. These problems and barriers were seen to arise from differences in academic systems and expectations, from differences in cultures, and from difficulties of language and understanding. The findings show that all three groups of respondents consider that the experiences of overseas students can and should be made more satisfactory by - increased awareness of overseas students’ problems of adjustment and the issues which create barriers in working with them. - provision of structured assistance to help overseas students to adjust to the British system of education and social life without losing their cultural identities. - assistance to counsellors and staff in acquiring or improving their cross-cultural skills to work more effectively with overseas students. - employment of at least one overseas person with whom students can identify in each support services team. - demonstration that institutions offer value for money in the educational services they provide together with sound support services enabling students to make effective use of the facilities provided. (If claims made during the marketing process are seen by the students to be justified in the outcome, the goodwill established will be beneficial not only to the institution concerned but also to the host country. ) Recommendations based on these findings are made to staff, counsellors and the institutions in which they function in order a) to improve the experiences of overseas students. b) to enhance the effectiveness of the services they provide -Students’ unions in order a) to raise awareness of overseas students’ experiences b) to facilitate the integration of overseas students with home (UK) students. -Current and future overseas students in order a) to enable them to develop strategies to cope with life and study in the UK.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: Social experiences