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Title: Transnational medical and nursing education : an exploration of its impact on Bahraini females
Author: Maddison, W.
ISNI:       0000 0004 6058 3228
Awarding Body: University of Liverpool
Current Institution: University of Liverpool
Date of Award: 2015
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This thesis explores the impact of the phenomenon of transnational medical and nursing education on the lifeworlds of a small group of Bahraini female medicine and nursing graduates in Bahrain as they ‘became’ Irish qualified doctors and nurses ‘at home’ in the Middle East. A regional hub of transnational medical and nursing education was created in the tiny Kingdom of Bahrain ten years’ ago when a leading Irish medical university, pursuing a strategy of internationalization, opened a branch campus on the island. Students in Bahrain are conferred with the same degrees as those awarded in Ireland, but little is known about local student experiences of transnational medical and nursing education in this particular socio-cultural context. Bahraini female medical and nursing students occupy and embody a unique local cultural sphere grounded in Arab Islamic values and patriarchal norms, yet have to imagine themselves in different ways informed by the global discourse of transnational education. The purpose of this study was to investigate how these students gave meaning to and made sense of their lived experiences as they navigated complex issues of gender, power relations and socio-cultural values during their lengthy socialization into the professional persona of a western educated doctor or nurse. The study design was qualitative and employed Interpretative Phenomenological Analysis (IPA) as its methodological framework. Data were collected from two focus group discussions and nine individual in-depth interviews, according to conventions of qualitative research and principles of IPA. Findings were interpreted through the lens of postmodern feminism. The importance of reflexivity in IPA and postmodern feminist thought was highlighted as the voices of participants were clearly heard from the position of their own lifeworlds, filtered through the researcher’s own positioning within the research process. A deep and contexualised investigation into Bahraini female student experiences was undertaken, moving forward the discourse of transnational medical and nursing education. As these young women became empowered learners, they articulated self-determination, self-efficacy and personal agency within their uniquely constructed Transnational Community of Practice (TCP), through which they redefined cultural boundaries and developed coping strategies in order to succeed in an emotionally charged and challenging transnational space. The study demonstrates that gendered ways of knowing and the tensions of negotiating differing cultural contexts are often ignored and invisible components of a hidden curriculum which shape student personal, academic and professional achievement. This study revealed new conceptualisations for Bahraini female engagement within the discourse of transnational medical and nursing education in the Middle East, from which a particular Bahraini female discursive positioning and standpoint emerged, grounded in a distinct Arab Islamic feminist reflexivity. The impact of their educational experiences was transformational in character as the graduates became agents of change, shifting the balance of local gendered power relations and extending their influence into wider Bahraini society. This study concludes by calling for new metaphors in transnational medical and nursing education which take into account local student voices and move beyond the realm of western cultural norms in order to enhance student empowerment, engagement and success in specific contexts.
Supervisor: Gray, M. ; Willis, I. Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ed.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral