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Postgraduate International Students as Globalised Lifelong Learners: An Exploratory Study.

Aiello, M (2015) Postgraduate International Students as Globalised Lifelong Learners: An Exploratory Study. Doctoral thesis, Liverpool John Moores University.

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Abstract

This study provides a theoretical and methodological contribution to ongoing debates relating to the purpose and nature of international higher education. It does so by examining globalisation, lifelong learning and postgraduate international study through the voice of the individual student. The voice of the student is under represented in the literature and this research contributes by providing an in-depth, longitudinal study focusing on the student voice.

The experiences of international postgraduate students within one English university from 2009-2014 provide the research context. Their experience is explored through a number of integrated and interactive narrative based research methods: written narratives, interview narratives and narratives as conversations in action. There is a dearth of empirical research which integrates these methods. It is not an intention of this study to make generalisation claims or to claim universal applicability. However, the findings do add to knowledge relating to internationalisation, globalisation, lifelong learning and identity construction within higher education programmes.

The neoliberal economic view of motivation to become an international student is contested. This study suggests that motivation to take on a period of international study may be more complex and more heavily weighted towards passion, rather than towards an economic or employment based rationale. Participants do demonstrate many of the qualities identified for the international or globalised learner. However, international experience and international learning is largely brought about the agency of the international student, often in spite of, rather than as an outcome of their formal university programme of study. The study confirms that culture and identity are permeable and are influenced by the postgraduate student experience. However, nationality rather than being reduced is reinforced during the period of international study. The findings confirm that narrative research approaches such as those used in this research, can provide a rich learning experience for both participant and researcher. Such approaches may be of particular importance to individuals in transition stages, such as the international student.

Item Type: Thesis (Doctoral)
Uncontrolled Keywords: Globalisation, Internationalisation, Lifelong Learning, Neoliberalism, Narrative, Agency, Nationality, Identity, Learning.
Subjects: L Education > LB Theory and practice of education > LB2300 Higher Education
Divisions: School of Education
Date Deposited: 02 Nov 2016 14:17
Last Modified: 22 Nov 2016 10:04
Supervisors: Vickerman, P
URI: http://researchonline.ljmu.ac.uk/id/eprint/4428

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