Changing academies: Exploring international PhD students’ perspectives on ‘host’ and ‘home’ universities

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As students move between universities on different continents, they are expected to adjust rapidly to the academic and cultural practices of their host university. Many of these students are higher educational professionals in their home country and on their return home they are faced with the challenge of how to fit back into – or whether to make changes in – their institution's established academic practices. I explored international PhD students' understanding of, and responses to, the perceived differences between academic cultures of host (UK) and home universities. Whereas some students regarded the changes made in how they conducted and wrote up educational research as temporary and strategic in order to pass the PhD course, others saw themselves as change agents. They were keen to transform academic practices once they returned home and were already actively working out politically and practically how to go about this. By reflecting on how educational research practices are changing and being influenced by the movement of academics between countries, I suggest how UK university departments can respond positively to the differing research practices in which international students engage in their home institutional contexts.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)417-429
Number of pages13
JournalHigher Education Research and Development
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 2010

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