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Title: Culture, identity and practice : the lived experience of the local academic in transnational higher education
Author: McLatchie , Joan C.
ISNI:       0000 0004 6350 9381
Awarding Body: Lancaster University
Current Institution: Lancaster University
Date of Award: 2015
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Transnational education (TNE) has become a significantly important element of Higher Education Institution (HEI) delivery throughout the world, and much has been written on the subject. However, the majority of research in this field is produced from the perspective of the (usually Western) awarding institution. A neglected aspect of the TNE relationship is the role of the academic situated in the delivery institution. This research addresses this gap by investigating the lived experience of a group of Indian academics working in collaboration with a UK university. The research explores the lived experience through consideration of culture, identity and practice. The research focuses on the conflicting sub-identities which exist in cross-cultural contexts, and the stories which the academics tell of adapting their practices, in order to make sense of their competing cultural realities. Primary data were produced by a process of co-construction between the researcher and the 14 voluntary participants. Initial use of email to promote dialogue was followed up by unstructured interviews. Participants were asked to bring 'artefacts' which represented their teaching identity; these formed the starting point for discussion. Quotes from the transcripts were then used to illustrate the issues raised by the research questions. The findings indicate the development of a hybrid teaching identity among Indian academics, based on the competing realities of their cultural universe, and leading to the development of adapted practices. The opportunity for adaptation is influenced by the relationships which characterise the academics' lived experience. From analysis of the data, I develop a typology of relationships, based on the extent to which they offer opportunities for individual agency. These are categorised as didactic, externally-prescribed, enabling and self-prescribed relationships. I conclude that, in order to make transnational partnerships work for all of their stakeholders, there has to be much more focus by policy makers at awarding institutions on understanding the cultural universe within which the academics at the delivery institution are operating. Awarding institutions must move away from the 'west is best' mentality, recognising the contribution made by in-country academics to the development of a successful collaborative partnership.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available