It is old news that higher education has become more and more international in the sense that an increasing number of overseas students has come to the UK – an other English-speaking countries – to study in undergraduate and graduate degree programmes. For instance, at the University of Leicester, where I teach Shakespeare and language, I can see that pre-sessional courses are busier and busier these days and people are already bracing themselves for the summer course that is likely to attract over 500 students, mostly from China. I don’t think the picture is very different in other HE institutions around the country.
Besides that, UK universities have opened campus extensions overseas and have engaged in partnerships with universities in different countries around the world to offer English language teaching courses and academic support programmes, which increases even more the extent of English language provision to international students.
All these puts a tremendous pressure on institutions as tutors, lectures, and universities staff have to adapt to new realities, forms of thinking, academic cultures and the need to provide a wider range of students’ services. Above all, it is very important that academic institutions offer a generally good experience to international students, since they are the ones who bring substantial new forms of income in a time when the budget for education has been seriously affected by government cuts.
To open a forum where tutors, academic staff and international students can discuss their experiences studying in English-speaking countries, a group of EAP academics from different institutions in the UK has just launched a new free online journal – the International Student Experience Journal.
The first issue is now out and I would like to invite everyone reading this blog to check it out: http://isejournal.weebly.com/
This is a brand new publication and we still have a lot to learn as new issues come out, but I am sure it will mature and become a forum for all those interested in improving the experience of teaching English to international students.
If you like to contribute with an article, review or research paper, please check the Submissions page on the website.
If you would like to become a reviewer, please do Contact us.