Document Type

Conference Proceeding

Publisher

Edith Cowan University, Western Australia in association with Khon Kaen University, Thailand and Bansomdejchaopraya Rajabhat University, Thailand.

Comments

Originally published in the Proceedings of the EDU-COM 2006 International Conference. Engagement and Empowerment: New Opportunities for Growth in Higher Education, Edith Cowan University, Perth Western Australia, 22-24 November 2006.

Abstract

More than eighty-five percent of international students in New Zealand are Asian in origin. The level of satisfaction of Asian international students with their learning experiences in New Zealand has been of enormous concern for the New Zealand export education industry. The results of this current research, based on a qualitative research approach conducted at a New Zealand tertiary institution, provide a critical summary of some important and yet challenging issues in teaching Asian students. This study found that Asian students were overall satisfied with their learning experiences at the university in terms of educational quality and programme offering. Asian students‘ voices and narratives on which this research was based have challenged some of our taken-for-granted educational traditions, norms, and practices. Characterising these challenges are language difficulties and cultural differences as intercultural communication barriers, unfamiliar patterns of classroom interactions, lack of knowledge of academic norms and conventions, and inadequate learning support, all these combining to impact on Asian students‘ perceptions and levels of satisfaction with their learning experiences at the university. The study suggests that it is important that lecturers and host institutions are professionally responsible to equip Asian students with adequate knowledge of academic discourses, and help them transcend the culturally framed borders and subjectivities. To meet these challenges, it is important to review and adapt our pedagogical practices and to realign them to the needs of both local and international students.