Transnational Higher Education Students Finding their Voice: The Experts and Ultimate Insiders

Pinn, Keith (2020) Transnational Higher Education Students Finding their Voice: The Experts and Ultimate Insiders. PhD thesis, University of Lincoln.

Transnational Higher Education Students Finding their Voice: The Experts and Ultimate Insiders
Pinn, Keith - Education.pdf - Whole Document

Item Type:Thesis (PhD)
Item Status:Live Archive


“Culture is the way in which a group of people solves problems and reconciles dilemmas.” (Trompenaars and Hampden-Turner, 2008, 6)

This research explored, in-depth, perceptions, challenges and experiences of transnational education (TNE) students on their educational journey whilst undertaking United Kingdom (UK) franchise programmes in Malaysia. There is a relative lack of recognition in published work relating to the TNE student voice and their experiences at undergraduate level. Globalisation, technological advancements and skills development in knowledge economies continue to dramatically change the landscape of higher education (HE). TNE is an important part of international HE throughout the world offering a range of opportunities for both host and sending institutions as well as their students.

The research also aimed to find out why students value studying on a UK franchised programme and what the host and sending institutions can learn from students in order to deliver a high-quality student experience. It is argued that this research is important, because there is need to know more about the quality of the student TNE journey to ensure that it is appropriate and meets the needs of students as well as other stakeholders, such as employers.

The methodology employed was that of qualitative research using thematic analysis drawing on host student focus groups, and host and sending institutions individual staff interviews. Bourdieu’s theoretical concepts of capital, habitus and field (Bourdieu, 1996), were important, in particular, in relation to the discussion and awareness of TNE and were used as a theoretical lens in which to view this research.

The overarching theme that emerged from the findings was that of culture and that cultural influences and differences are interconnected in every feature of TNE. A key theme from this research study highlighted how important the Malaysian family is in the lives of students as they experience their HE journeys. Other themes that emerged from the findings related to learning and teaching, behaviour, and identity. A key finding was that the badge of a Western degree seemed to be the most important thing to many students (and their families) in pursuing their careers and accumulating capital.

A number of recommendations are made from the findings that have emerged from this research and from the research questions in order to help improve the TNE journey of students. The recommendations relate to feedback and student engagement and staff development for those involved in TNE. The recommendations also relate to managers and policy makers from both Malaysia and the UK to help ensure that the management of TNE at host and sending institutions take account of the student voice to ensure that TNE students receive a high-quality student experience.

The research study concludes by suggesting that if the student voice is recognised more and better understood, it could prove invaluable in contributing to the improvement of TNE programmes and the UK home programmes and, therefore, the student experience.

Keywords:Transnational Education (TNE), Culture, Family, Student Voice, Student Experiences, Quality, Globalisation, Malaysia, Franchise
Divisions:College of Social Science > School of Education
ID Code:44272
Deposited On:09 Mar 2021 13:32

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