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Title: Service quality and intercultural adjustment : exploring and comparing the perceptions of international students and academic staff of a UK Russell Group university
Author: Zhu, Xiaotong
ISNI:       0000 0004 7656 2579
Awarding Body: University of Southampton
Current Institution: University of Southampton
Date of Award: 2018
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The importance of understanding international students' perceptions of the quality of their academic and intercultural experience has been increasingly recognised in higher education context. Previous studies have largely focused on a single perspective. This research presents a more comprehensive picture of service quality of UK higher education and international students' intercultural adjustment in the United Kingdom through investigating and comparing both students' and academics' perspective. A mixed-methods convergent parallel deign was implemented in a Russell Group university, with quantitative survey data collected from a convenient sample of 139 Chinese students and 27 academics, and qualitative interview data from a group of Chinese students (N=5) and academics (N=6). Both the quantitative and qualitative findings show that the perceptions of academics and Chinese students may be very different, even at the same university. There is also evidence for dynamics in these perceptions: 1) the perceptions are changeable over time; and 2) the service quality regarding the academic factor has a positive relationship to sociocultural adjustment. These findings have important implications for various higher education stakeholders across the university: it is critical to promote mutual and regular dialogue between academics and international students to make sure that they have a shared understanding and that the dynamics in their perceptions is captured. The findings also suggest caution when assuming, as is prevalent currently, that service quality of higher education and international students' intercultural adjustment can be comprehensively understood and efficiently improved from just one side's point of view.
Supervisor: Dyke, Martin ; Downey, Christopher Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available