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Title: Can a specialist Foundation programme adequately prepare international students to study Medicine in the UK? : an exploration of the experiences of international students on a specialist Foundation programme which prepares them for undergraduate study in Medicine
Author: Ishmael, C.
ISNI:       0000 0004 7659 612X
Awarding Body: UCL (University College London)
Current Institution: University College London (University of London)
Date of Award: 2017
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Given the unique challenges of securing a place on a Medicine undergraduate programme in the UK, the study explored the experiences of international students on a preparation for Medicine Foundation programme, and questioned whether such a programme could adequately prepare them for admission to Medicine. Underpinning the study, the concept of internationalisation of education was explored, as the Foundation programme is part of a Medical School's internationalisation strategy. It is argued that internationalisation cannot be separated from the legacy of past colonialism and the new imperialistic practices of today; thus, the study is embedded within a postcolonial theoretical framework. Within such a framework the inequalities, both national and global, to which internationalisation contributes were explored further in relation to the Foundation programme. A primarily qualitative approach was employed and semi-structured interviews were conducted with three groups of students (former Foundation students, non-Foundation international students, and home students) for comparison; senior members of a Medical School; marketing staff and Medicine Problem-Based Learning (PBL) tutors. The interpretation and analysis of the data generated were embedded within a postcolonial theoretical framework which sought to illustrate how the legacy of colonialism, in the form of neoimperialistic discourse, continues to dominate and shape the world, including the education of international students on the Foundation programme. The findings of the study revealed that with appropriate preparation and self-study, Foundation students can be successful in gaining a place to study Medicine. The study also revealed a number of ways which illustrate how internationalisation, despite idealistic aims, is driven by financial imperatives. Within a global context, it represents another way in which the Global North continues to exploit the Global South, thus perpetuating inequalities, both globally and within poorer nations. The practical recommendations from the findings have contributed to the development of this unique Foundation programme by providing a more transparent application process and robust preparation for international students to meet the entry requirements for undergraduate Medicine. These recommendations will be of relevance to other international Medicine Foundation programmes, and some aspects, particularly the role of agents, to most programmes that employ agents in the recruitment process. The study also highlighted a need for medical schools to develop a coherent definition of what is meant by the internationalisation of medical education and its fundamental tenets, and how their curriculum can attempt to critically address the inequalities perpetuated by the legacy of colonisation and the new imperialism of today. The study adds to the body of literature that explores the contribution of postcolonial theory to education, and presents another facet to this discussion: that of medical education programmes intended solely for international students.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available